Arachnid monkey (lat.Atelidae) - mammals from the family of wide-nosed monkeys (Platyrrhini) and the order of Primates. This family includes about thirty modern species that are distributed exclusively in the New World.
Description of the arachnid monkey
The arachnid monkeys owe their very unusual name not only to long and sufficiently strong legs and arms, but also to the tail, which plays the role of a kind of very tenacious fifth limb. The skull of the monkey is small, therefore the mammal hanging on the branches and holding the tail behind them, as well as with all the limbs, is very reminiscent of the spider in all its appearance.
Arachnid monkeys, including howler monkeys and koat monkeys, are currently considered the largest in size primates living on the territory of the American continent. The average weight of an adult is about 4-10 kg, with a body length of 34-65 cm. The tail length of the arachnid monkey varies between 55-90 cm. Females of this species are somewhat heavier and noticeably larger compared to mature males.
It is interesting! The hairy coat has a slightly longer coat on the shoulders than the coat, which is located in the abdomen and on the legs.
In the exposed area at the bottom of the tip of the tail, there are skin scallops that are responsible for the excellent tenacity of the mammal. The forelimbs of the arachnid monkey are longer than the hind legs, but in some individuals they can be almost equal in length. The thumb on the wrist is absent or reduced, and the toes on the feet are quite well developed. The coat of the animal is long, various coloring. The face of the animal's face is predominantly dark in color, and the coat on the body is brownish or light brown in color.
Character and lifestyle
Arachnid monkeys prefer to live in not too large groups of about ten individuals, but sometimes mammals are able to gather in flocks of forty or slightly more individuals. Representatives of the family of wide-nosed monkeys live in forest canopies, not descending to the surface of the earth. Thus, for full-fledged life activity this species requires the obligatory presence of rather large trees in the habitat zone.
The sleep of arachnid monkeys also occurs exclusively on trees, where animals are located at a small distance from each other. To move around the vegetation, a half-brachiation method is used, hanging on the branches by means of the forelimbs and a very tenacious tail. The main activity of mammals is in the daytime.
The daily behavioral model of arachnids is represented by periods of rest, food, travel, or movement and communication. Such weakly active primates spend about 50% of the daily time in the process of rest, 20% of the time is spent on food, 28% are spent on traveling or moving, and 2% on the process of communicating with each other.
Each Atelidae group prefers to be located on separate trees where houses are arranged. With active deforestation, arachnid monkeys leave their habitat and are able to return to their original place only after the trees suitable for animal habitation have grown to a sufficient height.
How long does a spider monkey live?
Representatives of the family of arachnid monkeys differ not only in their size and color, but also are characterized by different life expectancies. As a rule, males in natural conditions live no more than ten years, and females - up to twelve to fifteen years. In the presence of the most favorable conditions, the average life expectancy of mammals of this species can reach twenty years, and even a quarter of a century or more. In captivity, animals live for about forty years.
Species of arachnids
The family of arachnids is represented by two subfamilies, five genera and almost thirty species. To the subfamily Alowattinae is the genus Howler (Alowatta), including:
- Alouatta arstoididea;
- the red-armed howler (Alowatta belzébul);
- black howler (Alouatta caraya);
- Coiban howler (Alouatta coibensis);
- Alowatta discolor;
- brown howler (Alouatta guariba);
- Alouatta juara;
- Guyana howler (Alouatta massonnelli);
- Amazonian howler (Alouatta nigerim);
- Colombian howler (Alouatta olliata);
- Central American howler (Alowatta igra);
- Alowatta puruensis;
- Bolivian howler (Alouatta sara);
- ginger howler (Alouatta seniculus);
- Alouatta ululata.
The Atelinae subfamily includes:
- the genus of Coata (Аtels), including the white-faced koat (Аtels bеlеsbuth), the Peruvian coat (Аtels skamek), the Colombian koat (Аtels us hybridus), the white-breasted koat (Аtels а born out, blackened), blackened koatu (Atelés rannisus);
- the genus Arachnid monkeys (Bachyteles), including the arachnid monkey (Bachyteles arachnoids) and a reddish monkey (Bachyteles hyroxanthus);
- genus Woolly monkeys (Lagothrikh), including a brown woolly monkey (Laghotrich lagotricha), a gray woolly monkey (Lagothriha sana), a Colombian woolly monkey (Laghotrich lugoery),
The yellow-tailed monkey (Orionach flavisauda) belongs to a very small genus Oreonakh.
The Red-armed howler inhabits the Atlantic coastal and Amazonian forests. Black and brown howlers belong to the southernmost representatives of this genus, and the Coibian howler is endemic to Panama. Representatives of the Gayan howler species are found almost everywhere in the Guiana Highlands, in the northern Amazon and east of the Rio Negro.
The Amazonian howler lives in central Brazil. The Central American howler inhabits the relatively dense rainforests of Belize, Mexico and Guatemala, and the Bolivian howlers are distributed in northern and central Bolivia to the borders with Peru and Brazil.
It is interesting! A very rare species is a woolly yellow-tailed monkey. This Peruvian endemic is found exclusively on the territory of the Peruvian Andes in the regions of San Marin, Amazonas, Loreto and Huanuco, as well as in La Libertad.
All representatives of the genus Coata are inhabitants of the tropical forests of South and Central America: from the southern part of Mexico to the borders of Brazil. Lagotriks or Woolly monkeys inhabit the upper tiers of tropical forests, moist and foggy tropical forest areas in northern South America, including Bolivia and Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Arachnid monkey diet
The main diet of howlers is represented by leaves and fruits, and the seeds and flowers of plants are the complement. Coats also feed mainly on fruit pulp, as well as flowers, but sometimes enjoy insects and decaying wood.
The foliage of plants makes up about 20% of the total diet, and the seeds are supplemented with seeds mainly in the rainy season, when insufficient amounts of fruit can be observed. Fruits make up 36% of the total diet, mature foliage - about 30%, young foliage and buds - no more than 25%, and flowers - about 5%.
Breeding and offspring
In female arachnid monkeys, as a rule, one cub is born. There are no seasonality indicators in the reproduction of such mammals; therefore, representatives of this family are able to mate year-round. Such primates react very actively and violently to any strangers during the offspring season.
It is interesting! Recovery of the total population is extremely slow, which is due to the not too frequent breeding of arachnids and the birth of only one cub.
In the first couple of years, the baby is constantly with his mother. From the age of four months, the cub begins to try a variety of plant foods.
Mammals belonging to the family of arachnid monkeys reach full puberty no earlier than five years of age.
The natural enemies of the arachnid monkey are represented by jaguars, ocelots and harpy eagles, but people do the main harm to such mammals. Factors that threaten the general population are hunting for animals for the sake of meat and the capture of cubs by poachers, as well as the destruction of the natural habitat of arachnids. Among other things, extensive deforestation causes a noticeable fragmentation of the distribution area.
Population and species status
The Red-armed howler species has been assigned the Vulnerable status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Representatives of the species Yellow-tailed woolly monkey is now on the verge of extinction. Reddish monkeys are an extremely rare and vulnerable species of primates with a protective status of "In critical danger."
Of the nine known subspecies of the arachnid monkey, eight are at risk of destruction. The Central American howler belongs to the category of "Endangered", and the protective status of the species of Red howler is currently the least concern. In captivity, arachnid monkeys reproduce quite well, which allowed us to create full-fledged populations living today in several zoological parks and world reserves.