Monkeys are among the most curious creatures on earth. When a troop of monkeys and their babies stopped to enjoy some leaves and other food along the edge of the bush in Costa Rica, they also discovered a small camera had been fastened to a tree. As they ate and rested, they began to investigate this curious object. They poked, prodded, bit, and licked the camera with intense curiosity.
Monkeys are among the most intelligent creatures in the wild and they learn quickly from watching others. We can see the baby monkey doing just that as he watches his mother closely and imitates her every move. As she nibbles leaves, he does the same. He bites sticks, as she does, and when she peers into the camera lens, he follows along as well.
Spider monkeys are highly social, living in troops of up to 40 individuals. They live most of their life in the canopy of the forest but they come to the ground to forage for food and to explore.
Spider monkeys make use of lime tree leaves mixed with saliva to repel insects. Very few animals are capable of such problem-solving skills. They are also known to have complex communication, using different noises to sound alarms, find individuals, or to alert other monkeys to a food source. They are also capable of using non vocal communication such as tail position and head shaking, making their ability to communicate even more sophisticated and complex. Possessing excellent memory skills, they are the third most intelligent nonhuman primate.
Monkeys are prey for large cats, eagles, and large snakes, but habitat loss and harvest by humans for the pet trade has affected their numbers to the point of them being an endangered species. To lose these adorable and important animals would be beyond tragic.