Spider monkey facts
- Spider monkeys are super agile, and have a prehensile tail which can grip onto branches. This gives them an extra limb to hang onto a branch as they swing through the trees in the forests of northern South America. They have a patch of skin on their tail, almost like a palm, which helps them to grip so effectively, so it really is like a fifth hand!
- Spider monkeys get their name from their long arms, legs and tail, which in proportion with their small head makes them appear spiderlike.
- These monkeys can live in large groups of 20-30 individuals with subgroups of two to three.
- Spider monkeys communicate with each other in these large groups by screaming, whistling, barking and grunting, scratching their chests and shaking trees, nodding their head and swinging their arms.
- Spider monkeys gather food in smaller subgroups of up to three monkeys feeding for the first and last two hours of their waking day.
- They remember past relationships with other spider monkeys by licking each other’s chests.
- Spider monkeys live up to 40 years
What do spider monkeys eat?
Fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves and insects
Where do spider monkeys live?
Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and Brazil
Our spider monkeys
Cher, who celebrated the big 30 on 23 June 2021, lives with her partner Branco and son Sonny. You can tell our tree-loving trio apart as Cher has the lightest eyes (almost blue-grey), and quite a pronounced forward-swept fringe, like a member of a 90’s boyband! Branco has a very red face and a slightly turned inward right eye. He is more thoughtful and has quite an intense gaze with dark eyes. Sonny, on the other hand, has a large pink ‘open’ face, and can often be seen marching about or causing trouble.
While Cher can sometimes be a little bit shy, she is quietly clever and is often the first to investigate and figure out different enrichments, and she loves her food which can be quite motivating! Her favourite foods are eggs, peanut butter, avocado and steamed sweet potato. Sonny is known to try and steal his parents' food, but keepers only need to give Cher a glance and a nod and she knows to quickly nip round a corner where they can safely sneak her some treats away from Sonny’s rampaging!
Spider monkey threats
Forest destruction and hunting
A place in London like no other, with trees filled with monkeys, snoozing sloths and bats flying overhead! Be transported to the Amazon rainforest and find out why it's one our most popular spots!