Spider monkeys are the aerial acrobats of the tree canopy, flying through the forest using their long arms and strong prehensile tails. These tails can hook around a tree branch and are strong enough to support a mother and her offspring. Most monkeys have no trouble dangling by their tails for long periods of time. Their bodies are also well-adapted as forest acrobats: spider monkeys are slim and their hands act as hooks that can pull a fruit-covered branch within biting distance. They occur in forests throughout South America and as far north as southern Mexico.