Both monkeys occasionally "prune" and eat the Thunbergia vines trellised around the cage.
"Leaves and flowers make up a relatively small portion (10% to 20%) of the overall diet of well-studied spider monkey popula-tions." [Spider Monkeys; Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of the Genus Ateles. Edited by Christina J. Campbell]
Although our monkeys pick and eat leaves when they're loose, I was shocked by how eagerly Chiquito gobbled up an aging head of red-leaf lettuce I planned to compost. We'll offer leaf lettuce to both Chiquito and Lolita on a daily basis from now on.
I just wish that I could muster up the same enthusiasm for salad greens without dressing. I'd be noticeably thinner if I only ate what the monkeys eat.
Chiquito devours plain lettuce like I would a piece of corn-on-the-cob slathered with butter and salt.
Jane Goodall has always been my hero, and working with primates an aspiration. Africa wasn't in the cards the summer I turned 16, when my parents offered to send me to volunteer, and there was only one class (in physical anthro-pology) when I wanted to study primatology in college.