Types of Monkeys


    Types of Monkeys

    Types of Monkeys: Many things come to mind when you think monkeys. They are often considered to be cute and very intelligent animals. Many species have their own characteristics regarding location, size, color, and even abilities.

    Monkeys are very vocal animals, which is how they communicate. They emit different tones to protect themselves from danger, call a mate, and even communicate with their young.

    Monkeys consist of many species throughout the world. On this page, the BioExplorer team explores all types of monkeys in the mammalian world.

    Monkeys vs. Monkies

    monkies vs monkeys

    Let’s get one of the fundamental confusion out of the way first. Is it monkeys or monkies?

    When a noun word ends with “y”, there is always confusion as to whether the plural form ends with “ies” or “ys”.

    According to many English dictionary sources, the grammar rule is simple. When a noun ends with a vowel followed by y, the plural form gets an “s”; otherwise, it would end with “ies”.

    For instance, the plural form of “Dictionary” is “Dictionaries”.

    Based on that principle, the plural form of monkey is indeed monkeys.

    First Grouping of Primates


    St. George Jackson Mivart
    Image: Wikimedia

    An English biologist, St. George Jackson Mivart, first published the classification of primates in his book ‘Man and Apes’ in 1873[1]. His categorization of monkeys was based purely on anatomical differences, habits, and geographical distribution. According to this book, the early classification of order Primates contained two sub-groups, namely:

    • Group-1: Man, and all the apes, which were first called Anthropoidea.
    • Group-2: All Lemurs and the animals most like them were called Lemuroidea; the creatures contained in it when spoken of being generally also termed “Half-apes” or “Lemuroids“.

    Modern Grouping of Primates

    Primates Groups

    After so many debates and further data collection and analyses and discoveries of new monkey species over a century, another British-born biological anthropologist, Robert D. Martin, currently a curator at Chicago Natural Museum, has published an excellent book called “Primate Origins and Evolution: A Phylogenetic Reconstruction” in 1994[2]. This research attempted to classify living primates into 6 different sub-groups based on geographical importance.

    # Primate Groupings Geographical Region Collectively Called
    1 Lemurs Madagascar
    2 Lorises and bushbabies Africa and Asia Prosimians
    3 Tarsiers Southeast Asia
    4 Marmosets, Tamarins, Capuchins, Squirrel monkeys, Owl monkeys, Titis, Sakis, and Howlers (Ceboidea) South and Latin America New World Monkeys
    5 Talapoins, Guenons, Baboons, Colobus, Macaques, Vervets, Geladas, Mangabeys, Langurs, Mandrills, Surili, Patas, Proboscis Monkeys (Cercopithecoids meaning “elongated apes“) Africa and Asia Old World Monkeys
    6 Apes and humans (Hominoids) Africa and Asia Apes

    This primate grouping is based on grade or level of organization, and in no way does it implies any superiority or inferiority between them.

    According to the fossil study in Tanzania by paleontologists in 2013[3], it became evident that the old-world monkeys (baboons, macaques) and apes (humans & chimpanzees) were already separated 25 million years ago!

    Classification of Primates

    Here are 4 major types of primate and their characteristics:

    • Prosimians

      Prosimians

      The earliest primates roamed the earth about 25 million years before monkeys evolved were Prosimians, meaning “pre-monkeys” or “proto-primates”.

      • These prosimian species live today, including lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, aye-aye, and bushbabies. The prosimians were classified into order Primates mainly because their hands with flexible fingers and opposable thumbs made it possible to fetch things up.
      • Most prosimians rely heavily on a sense of smell for communication and finding food. With the tarsier, eyesight has become more critical as it can swivel its head 180 degrees in each direction. On the other hand, the apes and monkeys rely primarily on their sight.
      • Today Prosimians live in some parts of Asia and Africa, especially Madagascar. No prosimian species are found in the Americas or Australia.

    • Old-World Monkeys

      Old-World Monkeys

      Old World Monkeys are a mixed group of primates with varied body sizes (medium to large-sized), habitats, diets, social behaviors, and anatomical differences.

      • All Old-World monkeys are classified under two families: Cercopithecinae and Colobinae.
      • Unique characteristics-wise, Old-World monkeys have downward-pointing nostrils, tend to stay mainly on the ground than trees (non-arboreal), and have a simple digestive system with cheek pouches for plant matters. Also, these primates have a tail which makes them differ from apes.
      • The Old-World monkeys hail from various countries in South and East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, except for Madagascar.
    • New-World Monkeys

      New-World Monkeys

      New World monkeys are a varied group of small to medium-sized arboreal (i.e., living on trees) primates.

      • These primates are restricted to the tropical forests of Southern Mexico and Central and Latin America.
      • Taxonomically, New World monkeys are classified into two prominent families Cebidae and Callitricidae.
      • Exclusive attributes-wise, these kinds of monkeys are primarily herbivores, twin births, no-cheek-pouches unlike Old-World counterparts, and some have a prehensile tail (Spider monkeys).
    • Apes

      Apes

      Apes are another clade of old-world monkeys collectively called Hominoidea, native to Africa and Southeast Asian countries.

      • Apes do not have tails (except L’Hoest monkey – a great ape) due to the mutation of the TXBT[4] gene cell.
      • Also, apes cannot perform brachiation (arm swinging in the arboreal movements on tree tops, unlike the other three kinds listed above).
      • There are two main branches of apes: gibbons (“lesser apes”) and hominids (“great apes”). Orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos are examples of greater apes, whereas the lesser apes contain all types of gibbons, including Lar gibbon, Agile gibbon, Silvery gibbon, and more.

      Hominoids are swift tree climbers except for gorillas and humans. Apes feed on various plant matters such as fruits, leaves, stalks, seeds, roots, and small animals.

    Types of Monkeys

    Here is a collection of all types of monkeys in the world.


    What do monkeys eat?

    What Do Monkeys Eat?

    Monkeys are divided into two groups; the Old World and New World monkeys. Explore what do monkeys eat, monkeys diet by types and what eats monkeys here.

    Old World Monkeys Vs. New World Monkeys

    Old-world and New-world monkeys are two types of monkeys within Primates. Explore all differences between them from all aspects here.

    Types of Monkeys By Breeds

    types of baboons

    Baboons

    Baboons are another breed of Old-world monkeys classified under the genus Papio. There are 6 types of baboons. Explore all about baboons here.
    types of langurs

    Langurs

    Langurs are Old-world monkeys classified under the Colobinae family along with other leaf-eating monkeys, including Colobus and proboscis monkeys. Explore langur characteristics and all types of langur species here.
    Types of Macaques

    Macaques

    Macaques are old-world monkeys hailing from the Asian continent, with a few from Africa. Currently, 23 species of living macaques are classified under the genus Macaca in the family Cercopithecinae, and 5 extinct macaques.

    Types of Monkeys By Colors

    Black Monkeys

    Black Monkeys

    Depending on the gender, certain monkey species have different skin colors. Find all black monkeys with black fur coating here.
    Brown Monkeys

    Brown Monkeys

    Many brown-colored monkeys are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. Most of the brown monkeys hail from South America. Brown Capuchin, Brown Greater Galago, Brown Howler, Brown Lemur, brown mouse Lemur, Brown Titi, Brown-backed Bearded Saki, and Brown-mantled Tamarin are a few examples of different types of brown monkeys.
    Gray Monkeys

    Gray Monkeys

    Gray-colored monkeys are one of the commonly found monkeys in primates. Explore all types of gray monkeys here.
    Orange Monkeys

    Orange Monkeys

    Some monkey species are born with bright orange fur; the coat color would gradually turns black as they age, but some stay orange throughout life. Explore all types of orange-colored monkeys here.

    Types of Monkeys By Habitats

    Types of Rainforest Monkeys

    Explore types of rainforest monkeys that are found in different rainforest regions of the world. Rainforests are biomes that have a rich flora and fauna. Animal species diversity is highest in the rainforests than anywhere else on earth.

    Types of Monkeys By Countries

    Angola Monkeys

    Angola Monkeys

    Angola is home to 13 species of Old World monkeys that make up 6 genera; however, none of these species are endemic to the country. One of the most popular species is the red-tailed monkey. Explore all Angola monkeys here.
    Argentina Monkeys

    Argentina Monkeys

    Five different species spanning 3 genera of New World monkeys can be found in Argentina, though none of them are endemic to the country. These species are generally found in forested regions, mainly in provinces like Santa Fe, Chaco, and Formosa.
    India Monkeys

    Indian Monkeys

    India has many cultural and religious ties with monkeys as a Hindu-dominant country. For instance, the Hanuman langur, one of India's most widespread monkey species, was named after Hanuman, a powerful part-monkey deity in Hinduism
    Brazil Monkeys

    Brazil Monkeys

    Brazil is home to 131 species of Old World and New World monkeys, with 83 being endemic to the country. Some common examples of these species that only reside in Brazil include the red-handed howler monkey (Alouatta belzebul), the buffy-headed marmoset (Callithrix flaviceps), and the crested capuchin (Sapajus robustus).
    Congo Monkeys

    Democratic Republic of the Congo Monkeys

    Democratic Republic of the Congo is also home to 35 Old World monkeys, with 18 endemic species. Some examples of these endemic species include the golden-bellied mangabey (Cercocebus chrysogaster), the wolf’s monkey (Cercopithecus wolfi), and the Ulindi river red colobus (Piliocolobus lulindicus).
    Cameroon Monkeys

    Cameroon Monkeys

    The nation houses 20 different species of Old World monkeys, though none of them are endemic to the country. Main monkey species that can be found in Cameroon include the olive baboon (Papio anubis), the agile mangabey (Cercocebus agilis), and the red-eared monkey (Cercopithecus erythrotis).
    Borneo Monkeys

    Borneo Monkeys & Apes

    Borneo Monkeys: Borneo is the third-largest island in the world after Greenland and New Guinea. Borneo island hosts many types of monkeys & apes.
    Malaysia monkeys

    Malaysia Monkeys

    Malaysia is home to various monkeys, though most are considered endangered. Some examples of these species are the stump-tailed macaque, the proboscis monkey, and the white-thighed surili.
    Thailand Monkeys

    Thailand Monkeys & Apes

    Thailand is home to 13 species of monkeys, though none of them are endemic to the country; quite a few can be found across Southern Asia. Other examples of common monkey species in Thailand include the Indochinese silvered langur, the northern pig-tailed macaque, and the rhesus Monkey.
    Panama Monkeys

    Panama Monkeys

    Panama is home to 8 species of New World monkeys, which comprise 6 genera. Examples of these species include the Panamanian night monkey (Aotus zonalis), the brown-headed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps), and the mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata).
    Indonesia Monkeys and Apes

    Indonesia Monkeys & Apes

    Indonesia is home to 12% of all known mammal species, many of which are endemic to the country. Indonesia is also widely known to house various types of monkeys, including macaques, surilis, and langurs.
    Peru Monkeys

    Peru Monkeys

    Peru is home to 52 species of New-World monkeys; 13 of the species are endemic to the nation. Explore all monkeys of Peru here.
    Bolivia Monkeys

    Bolivia Monkeys

    Bolivia is a South American landlocked country, known as the most isolated country on the continent. The nation is also home to 25 species of New World monkeys, though just two are endemic to it: the Beni titi monkey (Plecturocebus modestus) and the Ollala Brothers’ titi (Plecturocebus olallae).
    Ecuador Monkeys

    Ecuador Monkeys

    Ecuador is home to 21 species of New-World monkeys, though none are endemic to the country. Some examples of these monkey species include the red titi monkey (Plecturocebus discolor), the Colombian white-throated capuchin (Cebus capucinus), and the saddleback tamarin (Leontocebus fuscicollis). Explore all monkeys of Ecuador.

    Cite This Page

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    BioExplorer.net. (2022, November 30). Types of Monkeys. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/.

    BioExplorer.net. "Types of Monkeys" Bio Explorer, 30 November 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/.

    BioExplorer.net. "Types of Monkeys" Bio Explorer, November 30 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/.

    Key References

    • [1]“Man and apes; an exposition of structural resemblances and … – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library”. Accessed July 03, 2022. Link.
    • [2]“Scientific Publications | how-we-do-it”. Accessed July 03, 2022. Link.
    • [3]“Scientists Discover Oldest Evidence of Split Between Old World Monkeys and Apes | NSF – National Science Foundation”. Accessed July 03, 2022. Link.
    • [4]“The genetic basis of tail-loss evolution in humans and apes | bioRxiv”. Accessed July 05, 2022. Link.


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