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Robert Phillips
Robert Phillips

Ateles Geoffroyi


Geoffroy's spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), also known as the black-handed spider monkey or the Central American spider monkey,[3] is a species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central America, parts of Mexico and possibly a small portion of Colombia. There are at least five subspecies. Some primatologists classify the black-headed spider monkey (A. fusciceps), found in Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador as the same species as Geoffroy's spider monkey.




ateles geoffroyi



Geoffroy's spider monkey belongs to the New World monkey family Atelidae, which contains the spider monkeys, woolly monkeys, muriquis and howler monkeys. It is a member of the subfamily Atelinae, which includes the spider monkeys, woolly monkeys and muriquis, and of the genus Ateles, which contains all the spider monkeys.[1][4] The genus name Ateles means "imperfect", a reference to the vestigial thumb.[5] The species name geoffroyi is in honor of French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.


The black-headed spider monkey, Ateles fusciceps, is considered by authorities such as Groves (1989) and Rylands et al. (2006) to be a separate species from Geoffroy's spider monkey.[1][8][9] Other authorities, including Froelich (1991), Collins and Dubach (2001) and Nieves (2005), consider A. fusciceps to be synonymous with A. geoffroyi.[6] Under this treatment, the two subspecies of the black-headed spider monkey represent additional subspecies of Geoffroy's spider monkey, A. g. fusciceps and A. g. rufiventris.[6]


The locomotor and postural behavior of Ateles geoffroyi and Ateles paniscus was studied in Panama and Surinam. Ateles locomotion can be divided into five patterns on the basis of limb usage: quadrupedal walking and running, suspensory locomotion, climbing, bipedalism and leaping. The first three are commonly used in both locomotion during travel and locomotion during feeding, but climbing (especially 'horizontal climbing') is the most important pattern during feeding. Most Ateles locomotion takes place on twigs and branches, with twigs playing a greater role in feeding than in travel. Feeding postures are mainly suspensory and seated, short resting postures are suspensory, seated and standing, and long resting postures are almost entirely seated and reclining. Twigs are the most important supports in feeding postures, but branches are much more important in resting postures. The results of this study indicate that the quadrumanous climbing, forelimb-dominated locomotion during feeding that FLEAGLE considers the primary hominoid adaptation is also characteristic of Ateles.


The black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) is a platyrrhine primate distributed in southern Mexico, Central America, and part of South America. Two subspecies inhabit Mexico: Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus and Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis, both threatened with extinction. Serological evidence of exposure of spider monkeys to various groups of parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi in México and Leishmania spp. in Brazil has been reported. The genus Leishmania encompasses about 23 species of flagellate protozoa that are transmitted by the bite of females of Phlebotominae sand flies. These parasites cause a zoonotic disease called leishmaniasis, which generates skin, mucocutaneous and/or visceral manifestations. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the presence of Leishmania sp. in spider monkeys from the Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Veracruz, Mexico. Blood samples from 10 free- ranging specimens of A. geoffroyi yucatanensis and 11 specimens in captivity of A. geoffroyi vellerosus were collected and used. The samples were subjected to a conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction test for the identification of a 116 bp fragment of a region from the kinetoplast minicircle of the parasite. Our analyzes showed that 71.4% of the sampled animals had fragment sizes compatible with Leishmania spp. The implications involve the survival of the specimens and the possibility that these primates act as sentinels of the disease. Furthermore, it is the first report suggesting the presence of Leishmania spp. in A. geoffroyi vellerosus and A. geoffroyi yucatanensis in Veracruz, Mexico.


Ecological and social factors influence individual movement and group membership decisions, which ultimately determine how animal groups adjust their behavior in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments. The mechanisms behind these behavioral adjustments can be better understood by studying the relationship between association and space use patterns of groups and how these change over time. We examined the socio-spatial patterns of adult individuals in a free-ranging group of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), a species with high fission-fusion dynamics. Data comprised 4916 subgroup scans collected during 325 days throughout a 20-month period and was used to evaluate changes from fruit-scarce to fruit-abundant periods in individual core-area size, subgroup size and two types of association measures: spatial (core-area overlap) and spatio-temporal (occurrence in the same subgroup) associations. We developed a 3-level analysis framework to distinguish passive associations, where individuals are mostly brought together by resources of common interest, from active association, where individuals actively seek or avoid certain others. Results indicated a more concentrated use of space, increased individual gregariousness and higher spatio-temporal association rates in the fruit-abundant seasons, as is compatible with an increase in passive associations. Nevertheless, results also suggested active associations in all the periods analyzed, although associations differed across seasons. In particular, females seem to actively avoid males, perhaps prompted by an increased probability of random encounters among individuals, resulting from the contraction of individual core areas. Our framework proved useful in investigating the interplay between ecological and social constraints and how these constraints can influence individual ranging and grouping decisions in spider monkeys, and possibly other species with high fission-fusion dynamics.


Citation: Smith-Aguilar SE, Ramos-Fernández G, Getz WM (2016) Seasonal Changes in Socio-Spatial Structure in a Group of Free-Living Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157228.


Ateles geoffroyi (binomen ab Henrico Kuhl anno 1820 statutum) est species simiiformium media in America endemica. Pondere usque ad 9 kg, cruribus brevioribus sed brachiis longissimis, societatibus fissilibus fusilibus animalium inter 20 et 42 congregantes, hae simiae inter arborum ramos manibus moventur. Fructibus maturis pabulantur.


Ateles geoffroyi is a species of primates in the family atelid monkeys. They are listed as endangered by IUCN and in cites appendix ii. They are native to The Neotropics. They are diurnal herbivores. Individuals are known to live for 327.6 months and can grow to 1078 mm. Reproduction is viviparous.


The welfare of captive primates in laboratories, sanctuaries, and zoos is affected by various aspects of their environments. Although space restrictions increase aggression and stress-related behaviors in most captive animals, primates show diverse mechanisms for displacing stress and mitigating conflict. Many primates, including wild spider monkeys (genus Ateles), use these mechanisms flexibly to cope with social and environmental stressors. I investigated whether or not captive black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) use behavioral strategies to cope with potential stressors in captivity. In particular, I tested whether an affiliative or avoidant strategy was used in response to changes in available space and enclosure choice and the expected provisioning of food. A trained volunteer assistant and I observed socially-housed black-handed spider monkeys (N = 17) at Wildtracks, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Belize. At this site, certain groups have access to a second enclosure on a rotating basis. From June-September, 2016, we collected 337 hr of focal-animal samples, which I aggregated by individual, housing condition, and time relative to expected meals. I found that individual rates of intragroup aggression, stereotypic behavior, and self-directed behavior were significantly lower when space was increased. When I isolated the effect of enclosure choice, the differences in high-severity intragroup aggression and self-directed behavior remained significant. These trends extended to a pair of solitary-housed adult females who were integrated during the study. Expected meals did not have widespread effects, but there was a significant increase in low-severity intragroup aggression right before meals. Although intragroup aggression varied between conditions, rates of agonism and affiliation were generally low and individuals avoided conflict. Curiously, we did not observe any embraces between individuals despite evidence that these are vital tension-reducing interactions in this taxon. The changes in self-directed and stereotypic behavior suggest that coping strategies exhibited by captive primates, especially those requiring inhibition, may incur individual costs. Overall, increased space and the choice to associate freely appear to positively impact spider monkey welfare; managers of spider monkeys should consider these factors when designing enclosures and planning management strategies.


The objective of this research was to describe the organization and connectivity of the working memory (WM) and executive control (EC) networks in Ateles geoffroyi in resting-state conditions. Recent studies have shown that resting-state activity may underlie rudimentary brain functioning, showing that several brain regions can be tonically active at rest, maximizing the efficiency of information transfer while preserving a low physical connection cost. Whole-brain resting-state images were acquired from three healthy adult Ateles monkeys (2 females, 1 male; mean age 10.5 SD 2.5 years). Data were analyzed with independent component analysis, and results were grouped together using the GIFT software. The present study compared the EC and WM networks obtained with human data and with results found in the literature in other primate species. Nine resting-state networks were found, which were similar to resting networks found in healthy human adults in the prefrontal basal portion and frontopolar area. Additionally, components of the WM network were found to be extending into the hypothalamus and the olfactory areas. A key finding was the discovery of connections in the WM and EC networks to the hypothalamus, the motor cortex, and the entorhinal cortex, suggesting that information is integrated from larger brain areas. The correlated areas suggest that many elements of WM and EC may be conserved across primate species. Characterization of these networks in resting-state conditions in nonhuman primate brains is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding of the neural bases underlying the evolution and function of this cognitive system. 041b061a72


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