If monkeys are a major source of fascination and curiosity to you, then you'll certainly find spider monkeys interesting. These brisk, sturdy and diurnal monkeys are common in rain forests, and they thrive in moist environments. Spider monkeys are omnivores, and they're particularly avid fans of both seeds and fruits.
Omnivorous Spider Monkeys
Spider monkeys are omnivores, according to the National Geographic Society. They eat a blend of animal and plant-based foods, with the emphasis is definitely on plants. These monkeys are sometimes referred to as frugivores because of their large fruit consumption. Between 80 and 90 percent of a spider monkey's diet is fruit, according to the Primate Research Center of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Berries are a major element in this fruity diet.
Other Key Dietary Elements
Other important elements in the typical spider monkey diet are aerial roots, rotting wood, new foliage, flowers, stems and nuts. The animals tend to scour for sustenance in treetops. Spider monkeys eat "on the run," and these little multitaskers usually do it at the same time they're climbing, hanging or otherwise scampering around.
Animal-Based Dietary Components
Animal foods that spider monkeys frequently consume are bird eggs, spiders, bugs, and bug larvae. Once in a while, spider monkeys also feed on smaller reptiles as a major source of protein. Although spider monkeys sometimes eat spiders, that isn't how their name originated. "Spider monkey" refers to their appearance when they use their tails to suspend themselves.
Spider monkeys possess not only quick physiques for going from point A to point B, but also pretty quick digestive tracts. Once a spider monkey enjoys a tasty meal -- whether fruit, bugs, reptile meat or eggs -- it can travel through his digestive tract in just four hours.
- Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas: Differences in Diet Between Spider Monkey Groups Living in Forest Fragments and Continuous Forest in Mexico
- Macalester College: Spider Monkey
- National Geographic: Spider Monkey
- A-Z Animals: Spider Monkey
- University of Wisconsin-Madison National Primate Research Center: Captive Care Guide
- Animal Corner: Rainforest Spider Monkey
- Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images