Atelidae


Atelidae

Taxobox
name = AtelidaeMSW3 Groves|pages=148-152]


image_width = 200px
image_caption = Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Primates
subordo = Haplorrhini
infraordo = Simiiformes
parvordo = Platyrrhini
familia = Atelidae
familia_authority = Gray, 1825
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Alouatta" "Ateles" "Brachyteles" "Lagothrix" "Oreonax"

The Atelidae are one of the four families of New World monkeys now recognised. Formerly they were included in the family Cebidae. Atelids are general larger monkeys, and the family includes the howler, spider and woolly monkeys. They are found throughout the forested regions of Central and South America, from Mexico to northern Argentina.

Characteristics

Atelid monkeys are small to moderate in size, ranging from 34 to 72 cm in head-body length, with the howler monkeys being the largest, and the spider monkeys the smallest, members of the group. They have long, almost hairless prehensile tails with a sensitive tactile pad on the underside. The tail is frequently used as 'fifth limb' while moving through the trees where they make their homes. They also have nails on their fingers and toes, enabling them to climb. Most species have predominantly dark brown, grey, or black fur, often with paler markings.cite book |editor=Macdonald, D.|year=1984 |title= The Encyclopedia of Mammals|publisher= Facts on File|location=New York|pages= 361|isbn= 0-87196-871-1]

These are arboreal and diurnal animals, with most species restricted to dense rain forest, although some howler monkey species are found in drier forests, or wooded savannah. They mainly eat fruit and leaves, although the smaller species, in particular, may also eat some small insects. They have the dental formula:dentition2|2.1.3.3|2.1.3.3

Females give birth to a single infant (or, rarely, twins) after a gestation period of 180 to 225 days. In most species, individuals give birth every one to three years, and there is little, if any, seasonal peak in the number of births.

Atelid monkeys are typically polygamous, and live in social groups with anything up to twenty five adults, depending on species. Where groups are relatively small, as is common amongst the howler monkeys, a single male monopolises a 'harem' of females, but larger groups will contain several males, with a clear hierarchy of dominance.

Classification

There are currently 23 recognized species of atelid monkey, grouped into five genera, and two subfamilies.

* Family Atelidae: howler, spider and woolly monkeys
** Subfamily Alouattinae
*** Genus "Alouatta": howler monkeys
** Subfamily Atelinae
*** Genus "Ateles": spider monkeys
*** Genus "Brachyteles": muriquis (woolly spider monkeys)
*** Genus "Lagothrix": woolly monkeys
*** Genus "Oreonax": Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey

References

External links

*http://anthro.palomar.edu/primate/prim_5.htm
*http://csm.jmu.edu/biology/wunderre/julie_web/family_atelidae.htm


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