All About Monkeys

10th July 2010

Monkeys today are a member of two of the three groups of simian primates, the New World monkeys and the Old World monkeys, of which there are 264 known species. Apes and chimpanzees are not scientifically classified as monkeys, a common misconception by the general public due to their physical similarities.


Some distinguishing features between New World and Old World monkeys include the tail, where most New World monkeys have prehensile tails while Old World monkeys do not. The facial features of each group of monkeys also differ substantially; however, there are a number of shared features as well.


Monkeys are a very diverse family of species, ranging in size from the 5-6 inch Pygmy Marmoset, to the adult male Mandrill, which can reach a size of up to 3 feet. Some monkeys spend the majority if their lives in treetops, while others call flatter savannas and grasslands home. Most monkeys survive of a diet of fruit, leaves, nuts, berries, eggs, insects and occasionally other smaller animals.