Ateles chamek



Scientific name: Ateles Chamek
English names: Black-faced Spider monkey, Peruvian Spider monkey
Spanish and local names: Marimono, Mono araña
At la Senda Verde: +70 individuals
Special cases: Mara
Body Weight: 9 kilograms (20 lb)
Body length: 70 centimetres (24 in)
Tail length: 1 meter (36 in)


Why Spider Monkey?

Spider monkeys are adapted to a type of arboreal locomotion called brachiation, or arm swinging; they are extremely agile on the treetops and can only be matched by Asia’s gibbons. They differ from all other primates as they only have a vestigial thumb; their hands have four elongated fingers and an extremely long prehensile tail that along with their very long arms they remind us of a spider.

Spider moneys are one of the largest neotropical primates. They are very thin, their fur is completely black, have large eyes and very long arms, legs and tail.

Habitat and Distribution

There are seven types of Spider Monkeys, and at La Senda Verde we have more than 23 individuals of Peruvian Spider monkeys, also known as Black-faced Spider monkeys. The range of this species territory includes the south-western amazon, part of the entire Southern Peruvian amazon, to parts of Northern Bolivia and the southwestern Brazilian Amazon up to the Amazon River.

Their range is very large and they can be found in many different types of tropical rainforests. In Bolivia they are more abundant in the pre-andean mountain ranges, and many of those ranges are called because of them sierra de marimonos or “spider-monkey sierras”.

Life and Behaviour

Black-faced Spider Monkeys live in groups of 20-30 individuals inside very large ranges but rarely stay together all the time. Large groups will separate into smaller ones and forage different sections of the forest. They will forage for fleshy fruit and when this becomes unavailable they will eat all types of leaves, insects, small animals and plant parts.
Female monkeys will only have one offspring every five years. The newborn will stay attached to the mother and will be completely dependent on her for about ten weeks. After that he will begin to forage for himself and play, but will travel on the mother’s back for a year. The baby will wrap his tail with her mother’s for safety when travelling through the treetops.


Spider monkeys are often hunted by native people and by bush meat hunters for their precious meat. Bushmeat hunters will normally hunt several of them at once and if there are baby monkeys that survive the fall, they will be sold as pets. All of Senda Verde’s spider monkeys have this background. They are left severely traumatized and have a hard time recovering from this experience.

As far as conservation status goes, Ateles Chamek is listed as endangered, which means it is a very endangered species. Its biggest threats are hunting and habitat loss.


♠ Super-special. Spider monkeys are the only type of primates that have a vestigial thumb, meaning it has evolved away. Their hands and feet are long and hook-like, adapted for swinging and gripping to the trees.

♠ Spider of five limbs. Spider monkey tails are as strong as a limb, and the tip has an area without fur designed for gripping, with the texture similar of a hand. It is literally their fifth limb.

♠ She’s the boss. Spider monkeys are matriarchal. Females choose their mates and decide the group size.




Mara is a female paralytic spider monkey that arrived in 2016. Her parents were shot and the fall from the tree left her paralyzed from the waist down. She is one of the monkeys that has received more attention. She is very kind with the newly arrived baby monkeys, therefore is one of the surrogate mothers. If you would like to help mara you may support the Mara’s enclosure project or adopt her at Who loves me.

Olivia and Waramay

Olivia is the only animal at La Senda Verde who by accident has reproduced in captivity. In 2017 her female baby monkey, Waramay, turned 1 year old. It is a very special case to study, since waramay is a living proof of how spider monkeys are very happy when they don’t suffer the trauma of loosing their parents, as the rest of the adult spider monkeys did.



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