Monday, March 28, 2005

World's oldest monkey in captivity dies in Aichi

Buenos, a black spider monkey, is pictured in its cage in 2004 looking for his teeth

The world's oldest monkey in captivity has died of a heart ailment, officials from the Japan Monkey Center said on Monday.

In human terms, Buenos, a female black spider monkey believed to be at least 52 years old, would be the equivalent of 140 to 150 years old. The center had been considering applying to have Buenos registered in the Guineas Book of Records as the world's oldest monkey in captivity belonging to the "Suborder Anthropidea" group.

Buenos came to the Japan Monkey Center in Inuyama in September 1961. She was popular with visitors because she could skillfully use her 90-centimeter-long tail to pick and feed herself peanuts.

She had been getting along well with a young male monkey before suffering a heart attack on Feb. 12, center officials said. Buenos died on Saturday.

The average life span of black spider monkeys is around 33 years. Black spider monkeys, which mainly inhabit tropical rain forests in Brazil and other areas, belong to the "Suborder Anthropidea," a group of advanced species of monkeys including Japanese monkeys and orangutans. The brains and eyes of such monkeys are more advanced than primitive species.


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