Hello my little human readers, let’s talk about an animal closest in relation and similarity to you humans! Some people even believe that you are an advanced form of this animal, and that you evolved from being primates yourselves centuries ago! Primates are similar to you in little things they do like the way they move and cuddle each other for comfort. Today we will talk about one of this primates animals , let’s see if you could get which one it is?, no clue yet, well let me see if I can help it is the best friend animal of Tarzan and it is always with him, his name is Cheetah. Yes!!! A monkey you guys guessed it right!
Monkeys are one intelligent animal and come from a large family of different looking, different acting relations. There are actually over 260 types of monkeys in the world. That is a lot of different Monkey correct? And specially if you compare them to us Bears, where we only have 8 different kind. Here below I Have made you some illustration of some of my favorite ones
Monkeys, because the likeness to humans, are used often in scientific experiments on products and experiences . They are also so intelligent that some have been trained to do things just like humans do, some have even being trained to play games!, could you imagine how fun will be to play games with your favourite Monkey
Their tails, and narrow bodies are what distinguish them from other primates in the jungle such as apes.
Monkeys have short flat faces, the only exception to this rule are mandrills and baboons who have a muzzle on their face, which is like a protruding mouth.
Monkeys live in tropical forests mostly where there is an abundance of their diet. They have large brains and very good eyesight; that explain why I have never seen a Monkeys with eyeglasses! Monkeys also have good memories that serve them well and their intelligence can be used to solve complex problems.
Monkeys are divided into two categories and these are New World Monkeys and Old World Monkeys. Old world monkeys belong to one family, ‘Cercopitheccidae’(downward nosed) which is believed to be related to humans and apes. The New World Monkeys are called platyrrhines (flat nosed).The differences between these two are the location of their habitat, their bodily functions like their tail and mouth and their physical features.
New World Monkeys are located in the Americas, in areas like the Amazon rainforests all the way to Mexico, and the old World monkeys are located in parts of Africa such as Madagascar and the Serengeti, and Asia in areas like Afghanistan, Philippines, Celebes etc. Their bodily functions like prehensile tails are only found on new World Monkeys, as the old world monkeys tails are not prehensile. Prehensile means that their tails are used to grab onto things like branches or food or even to steady themselves. basically their tail is used like a limb!
Their bodily functions like tails are only found on new World Monkeys, as the old world monkeys do not have this feature. Some distinguishing features of the old world monkey are its cheeks, where there are special pouches where they can store food. These cheek pouches extend down to the side of their necks. They also use these pouches as transport for the excess food on their way home. If you see a monkey that looks like it bit off too much, just know it is storing the food for later!
Their nostrils are another feature, as the Old World Monkeys have curved nostrils that are close together on their faces, as opposed to the wide apart round nostrils New World Monkeys have. This also explains their scientific names of ‘flat nosed’ and ‘downward nosed’
The Old World Monkeys have ‘pads’ at their buttocks area so they can sit on, whereas the New World monkeys do not have any.
Monkeys have four limbs and walk on those, though they can rest on their hind legs and sit up straight. This is usually their position when they are eating.
They have thumbs on their front limbs which help them to handle food, like pluck fruits or peel them.
Monkeys can be big or small, some are extremely tiny - as small as a battery, while some grow to be as big as 77 pounds which is around the size of a usual dog. But I wouldn’t say that monkeys are some of the largest creatures in the world, they are moderately sized animals.
Monkeys are great climbers and can hang from trees, jumping from branch to branch in search of food. They can sleep sitting upright on a branch for several hours. They are excellent swingers but even they have their times that they may fall out of a tree!
They have long tails which are sometimes called ‘prehensile’ tails, this means that is acts like another limb to help them grab things. Their tails can be used to grab branches, food and to steady themselves.
What do you think monkeys eat? Not only bananas, that’s for sure!. However, you have to be careful not to eat bananas too close to them or they will grap them from your hands at top speed
They are omnivores which means they eat both meat and plants. Monkeys are not predators in the same sense of other jungle animals like wild cats, they settle for meat like rodents and eggs from other animals. They also enjoy fruits, nuts, seeds and flowers. Most monkeys don’t eat fruits that are ripe like us, they only eat unripe fruits.
The sugars that are in ripe fruits may cause death, because they cause them to bloat. Monkeys have a picky diet and they are also prey to other animals. This means some animals like eagles and hawks hunt monkeys for food.
Did you know that if a mother feels that there is not an abundance of food in her habitat, she will stop mating? This is because she does not want her young to come into the world when there is not enough food to go round. Female monkeys take primary care of their young when they are born, and sometimes the male monkeys may care for them too.
Monkeys are sociable animals and make loud noises among themselves. This is called ‘chattering’. A group of monkeys can be called missions/ tribes/troops or cartloads. A male monkey leads the group and the leader role is usually given to whoever is the strongest and biggest male.
Female monkeys carry their young for about 160 days to 180 days, different monkeys can take different times to deliver their young. Young monkeys usually hang on to their mothers by their neck or on their backs as they go about their daily activities.
There are some things that monkeys do that is just like humans, but don’t mean the same thing. For instance humans yawn when you are tired, but monkeys yawn as a sign of aggression, so when you see a monkeys yawing don’t offer them a pillow to sleep but better leave them alone. Any sudden movements they make with their heads or shoulders can also be interpreted as a sign of aggression.-
Some types of monkeys are mandrill monkeys who have blue and red colours on their face. These colours can get brighter/ more noticeable when they are excited.
There are also the capuchins who are extremely smart and can use rocks to break open food like nuts and defend itself by using sticks to hit predators.
There are howler monkeys, who as their name implies howl and yell at very high volume.
There are spider monkeys who have an extra-long tail and limbs that look and move as fast as a spider.
The South American Titi monkeys share affection between each other by stroking each other’s hair.
Baboons use sticks to access food in tree trunks or in places they cannot reach easily.
Do you see now how intelligent and similar Monkeys are to humans? We’ve learnt all about monkeys today and I will be back soon to teach you about another animal. In the meantime, why don’t you try your hand at the quiz below to see how much you know about monkeys now!
Questions and Answers
Can you name one thing monkeys do that are similar to us?
Answer: They hug each other, they eat by feeding their mouth with their limbs, they yawn and using their intelligence to solve complex problems.
There are only 3 types of monkeys in the world. True/ False
Answer: False. There are over 260 types of monkeys in the world.
Old World Monkeys have prehensile tails. True/ False.
Answer: False, only new world monkeys have prehensile tails
What do old world monkeys use the pouches in their cheek for?
Answer: They use them to store excess food and transport them on long journeys.
Which animals are common predators of monkeys?
Answer: The eagle and hawk.
What is in a monkey’s usual diet?
Answer: Seeds, nuts, fruits such as banana and flowers and some meat such as eggs and rodents.
How do monkeys move in trees?
Answer: They can swing from tree to tree and branch to branch with their limbs. They are also excellent climbers.
What do new world monkeys use their prehensile tail for?
Answer: Monkeys use their prehensile tail to grab things such as branches or even food.
Monkeys usually find a bed in the wild to sleep in when they are tired. True/ False
Answer: False. They usually sleep upright in trees.
Monkeys are not social animals. True/ False.
Answer: Monkeys are social animals and live in groups called cartloads/troops.
Can you name two types of monkeys?
Mandrill, capuchins, baboons, spider monkeys, baboons.