Spider monkeys live in the upper canopy of the tropical rain forests in Central and South America. They live in the trees of regions with tropical climates and can sometimes be found in Mexico.
In addition to the tropical rain forest, spider monkeys can sometimes be found in semi-deciduous and mangrove forests. Spider monkeys live in small groups in trees and are arboreal animals. Living high in the rain forest canopy keeps them safe from predators, and they can gather and hunt food without having to compete with other primates. The trees provide their diet of seeds, leaves, fruits, insects, larvae, flowers, and other occasional foods such as bark and bird eggs.
Spider monkeys rarely live in large groups because it causes more competition for food. If food is abundant, they sometimes foster larger groups until food once again becomes scarce. The tree habitat has also caused an environmental adaptation in spider monkeys causing them to have a shrunken thumb. Despite this adaptation, they are still able to swing from branch to branch with strength and agility. Because spider monkeys depend on trees and a forest environment to live, deforestation and increased logging have decreased the amount of space they have to call home.