Types Of Monkeys

12th June 2010

There are two major groups in which the types of monkeys are classified.

They are the New World Primates and Old World Primates. The New World Primates include species from South and Central America and the Old World Primates include species from Asia and Africa.

The monkeys from the New World Primates have tails which have the ability to hold things. On the other hand, the monkeys of the Old World Primates sometimes don't even have tails or if they have, they cannot do much with it.

The Old World Primates have versatile thumbs, unlike New World Primates. Generally, the primate group has a gamut of mammals from the tiny shrew to the Gorilla. These two primates groups come under the Simian group. Almost all types of monkeys are included in Simians.

New World Primates

The New World Primates includes Marmosets, Tamarins, Capuchins, Squirrel Monkeys (56 species), Night Monkeys, Owl Monkeys, Douroucoulis (8 species), Titi, Sakis and Uakaris (41 species), Howler, Spider Monkeys and Woolly Monkeys (24 species).

Marmosets: These live in the upper canopy of trees and are highly active. Marmosets feed on insects, fruits and leaves. Long lower incisors enable Marmosets to chew through tree trunks and branches and extract gum.

Squirrel Monkeys: These monkeys are found mostly in central and South America, in the canopy layer of the forests. Squirrel monkeys have a short and close fur. Their backs and extremities are yellowish orange and they have olive-colored shoulders. These species have a black and white face and their heads are hairy on the upper side.

Howler Monkeys : Largest among the New World monkeys, Howler Monkeys have round, wide-set nostrils and short snouts. They can be called the most laziest monkeys because they rarely leave their dwellings.

Tamarins: These monkeys inhabit the tropical rain forests. Basically omnivores, Tamarins can be differentiated because their body color usually ranges from shades of black, brown and white. Their lower canine teeth are longer than the incisors.

The Old World Primates

This sub-group has a whopping 135 species of monkeys. The broader categories amongst these are Baboons, Colobus, Langurs, Macaques, Mandrills and Mangabeys.

There is another category – Apes, which are not monkeys but are Simians nevertheless. They are Gibbons or the 'lesser apes' which has 13 species and Great Apes - Orangutan, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Bonobos (Pygmy Chimpanzees) and humans.

Gibbons: These monkeys, the lesser apes have mastered the art of brachiation, that is, they can swing from branch to branch. Amongst the tree-dwelling and non flying mammals, they are the fastest and the most agile. Their furs can have colors from black and brown to white. They dwell in tropical and subtropical rain forests of the northeast India, Indonesia, China and the islands of Java, Sumatra and Borneo.

Mandrills: Mandrill, according to Oxford English Dictionary means man-ape. It is closer to Baboons, but more than Baboons it is closer to Drill, a type of monkey. They have olive-colored fur and a colorful face and rump. They are the largest species of monkeys in the world.

Baboons They have long dog-like muzzles and close-set eyes. They have thick fur all over the body except on their muzzle. Their jaws are heavy and powerful. These are basically terrestrial, dwelling mostly in open Savannah, woodlands and hills across Africa. They are mostly vegetarians, however, they eat insects as well. So they can also be called omnivores.

Apart from the above mentioned types, there are many varieties of monkeys or rather primates found in the world. There is more to these funny and intelligent mammals than what is perceived by us. There is no doubt that the non-human primate is one of the most interesting mammals on the earth.

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