Interesting Facts About Monkeys – Learn About Monkeys
Facts About Monkeys
Monkeys and apes are in the order of primates. Most primates live in tropical forests. Of the more than 350 species of monkeys and apes, only 6 species are found predominantly outside the tropics. The great apes include humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gibbons. The lesser apes are lemurs and lorises. Humans are categorized by biologists as hominids (members of the family Hominidae). Primates are members of the order Primates (Latin for “prime [first] rank”–the taxonomic classification used for animals that humans rank first in importance).
The smallest primates are the marmosets, weighing from 1 to 3 ounces (27-84 grams), and the tamarins, weighing 4 to 6 ounces (112-168 grams). The largest primate is the adult male gorilla, weighing up to 440 pounds (200 kilograms), and standing 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) tall. Gorillas and chimpanzees walk on their knuckles. Most other primates walk on their hind feet–the exceptions are monkeys such as baboons, which walk on their knuckles, and colubus monkeys, which move with both legs swinging in a diagonal stride widely apart.
Primates are found in all continents except Antarctica. Their habitats include rain forests, swamps, deserts, and grasslands. Primates eat fruits, insects, and leaves. Some primates survive by eating the eggs of other birds or reptiles or by eating carrion (dead flesh).
Apes such as chimpanzees brachiate (swinging among branches) in trees for most of the day. Gorillas move easily through dense rain forest vegetation on the ground. Baboons walk on their hind feet and knuckles when foraging and rest at midday in a group lying close together on the ground in the shade of trees or tall grasses.
The typical primate social group is a band, led by a dominant male, which may contain as many as 60 to 100 individuals. Other primate groups include troops in which several adult males are associated with one or more sexually receptive females and their young. Monkeys and apes have close-knit family units that usually consist of one adult male, several adult females, and the young of both sexes.
Male white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus) grooming another monkey in Costa Rica
Primates communicate using many different vocalizations. Apes make an array of sounds including hoots, screams, grunts, moans, roars, barks, yelps, and growls. Chimpanzees use a variety of gestures as well. They can make the slapping sound made by pounding their hands together or against another body part. Chimpanzees use their hands to silently beg for food and to make requests such as for a grooming partner or for an audience to look at something interesting, such as a snake.
Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), an Old World monkey, live in troops of 15 to 30 individuals. The female gives birth after a gestation period of about 8 months and produces one offspring every 2 years. Male mandrills fight among themselves for dominance within the troop; these conflicts can be fatal, and they are sometimes accompanied by copulation.
The white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus) of Central and South America lives in large groups of 30 to 50 individuals. Females are dominant over males. If a new male is introduced to the group, the females drive him out or kill him. These monkeys are known for their intelligence; they use tools such as sticks and rocks to dig up insects, open nuts, and pry apart seeds.
The woolly spider monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), living in South American rain forests, is endangered because of deforestation caused by human activities such as ranching and subsistence farming. It is considered one of the most endangered mammals in the world.
The howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), living in the forests of Central and South America, is a loud and noisy animal that uses its voice to warn other monkeys of predators. It also communicates by using body language.
The capuchin or white-faced monkey (Cebus capucinus) is a small New World monkey from Central and South America that often lives near human settlements. These monkeys are intelligent; they use stone tools to crack open nuts.
The muriqui, also called the woolly spider monkey or woolly monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), lives only in South America, where its population has declined as a result of deforestation. This monkey is not hunted for food, but it does compete with humans for natural resources.
The red colobus monkey (Procolobus badius), living in central Africa, has a coat of very long, black fur that reaches to the ground and a long tail. The males are larger than the females and have large pink faces and throats. The red colobus lives in many kinds of forest habitat, including mangrove swamps, as well as various types of wooded savanna. It is preyed upon by a variety of carnivores.
The gibbon (Hylobates lar) is a long-armed ape that lives in the forests of Southeast Asia and in Borneo. There are reports that gibbons have been sold as pets.
The white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) lives in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. It is endangered because of the loss of its habitat to deforestation for the purpose of growing oil palms, as well as for other agriculture, human settlements, mining, and logging.
The golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli) lives in Madagascar, the largest island in the Indian Ocean. Its forest habitat is being destroyed to make room for agriculture.
More Facts About Monkeys
1. Monkeys are nomadic animals.
2. In Chinese, the monkey is a symbol of wisdom and intelligence as it can learn fast.
3. The monkey is the first animal which has been used for fighting in the circus.
4. Monkeys like to put on different kinds of things and play with them. One such example of enjoying with things is they like to wear caps on their heads and ride bicycle wheels around! But we shouldn’t be surprised because everything looks so funny when a monkey does it!
5. The famous scientific scientist Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was based on observations of different species of monkeys and their transformation over a period of time.
6. A group of monkeys is known as a troop, a group of troops is known as an army and an army of monkeys is known as a horde!
7. There are more than 200 species of monkeys found in the world.
8. Monkeys are not just found in our forests, they are also found in the dense forests of the Amazon River.
9. Monkeys use their tails as balancing tools while they swing from one tree to the other.
10. The first monkey to have flown in space was a rhesus monkey by the name of Albert. He flew on a V2 rocket and completed the mission successfully.
11. The very famous character ‘The Curious George’ is actually based on a real-life monkey named Moe! The book (and movie) was dedicated to him too.
12. The movie by Walt Disney ‘Aladdin’ was inspired by a story about Aladdin and his pet monkey Abu from the book “One Thousand and One Nights”.
13. The term ‘monkey’ is sometimes used as a slang for foolishness or stupidity. It is a very negative term to use!
14. Did you know that monkeys do not have proper teeth? The three front teeth they have are called incisors and are used for scratching and tearing things.
15. According to scientists, monkeys first appeared around 35 million years ago while apes first appeared around 28 million years ago. This means that gorillas and chimpanzees are also considered as monkeys and not separate species!
16. Did you know that some monkeys can swim? Actually most of the monkeys are very good swimmers and are known to enjoy it.
17. It was found by scientists that monkeys keep their own personal distance from other members of its group and can actually count as much as six different individuals at the same time!
18. In a monkey troop, the alpha male holds the position of dominance not because of its strength but mainly by its intelligence and sheer cunning!
19. The monkey is very close to humans as it shares 99% of our DNA!
20. It was found that nearly 60% of a monkey’s diet consists of fruits while 25% consists of leaves and flowers!
21. The monkey is very intelligent and can actually understand about 75 words and gestures!
22. There are some species of monkeys that can be trained to perform some tasks such as doing simple chores, cleaning, and even helping police as they are very good sniffers.
23. The facial expression of a monkey can change dramatically depending on their mood!
24. Gorillas are said to have a good memory, but they are also very intelligent. They can perform tasks and solve problems just by watching others do them!
25. Though it is commonly believed that all monkeys like bananas more than anything else, gorillas actually prefer vegetables like lettuce over bananas!
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