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Zoo-Paper - Florian Mettetal ANTHRO 250 The Spider Monkey...

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Florian Mettetal ANTHRO 250 August 14, 2008 The Spider Monkey Including a Study of the Atascadero Zoo’s Black Handed Spider Monkey The Black-handed Spider Monkey is a highly intelligent new world monkey with a prehensile tail. I had the opportunity to observe this unique primate at the Atascadero Zoo. Through additional research I have learned a great deal about its ecology, diet, social behaviors, and reproductive biology. First, I will discuss its physical characteristics including locomotion and communication. The Black-handed Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) is named as such because of its long thin spider-like limbs. The BHSM does not have thumbs, instead it has four fingers on its hands and does have five very finger like toes. The BHSM’s other notable feature is it’s prehensile tail which acts as a fifth limb to help the BHSM propel itself through the forest canopy (BBC - Science & Nature - Wildfacts - Black-handed spider monkey). This prehensile tail also helps the BHSM suspend itself. It is important to note that while a majority of the species locomotion is quadrapedal, or jumping between branches; the BHSM can also walk bipedal along branches. The BHSM has a communication ability which is unique only to the male of the species, this is known as the ‘long call’. It has an effective range of up to 500m and is used to communicate between subgroups as an alarm or an announcement of a new feeding site. It also
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