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Animals Wildlife 18 Extraordinary Types of Monkeys By Katherine Gallagher Katherine Gallagher Writer Chapman University Katherine Gallagher is a writer and sustainability expert. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Chapman University and a Sustainable Tourism certificate from the GSTC. Learn about our editorial process Published January 29, 2021 Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species There are nearly 200 different species of monkeys found around the world. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the adorable four-ounce pygmy marmoset to the massive 119-pound mandrill — and everything in between. To keep it all straight, monkeys are separated into two major categories: New World monkeys that live in Mexico, Central America, and South America, and Old World monkeys from Africa and Asia. There are a few notable differences; Old World monkeys, for example, don’t have prehensile (gripping) tails, but some are born with special pouches in their cheeks designed for storing food. Whether it’s the howler’s call that can be heard from three miles away or the bald uakari’s crimson head that reflects health levels, there’s something special about each and every one of these intelligent primates. Here are 18 of the most extraordinary monkeys on earth. 1 of 18 Olive Baboon Adria Photography / Getty Images. The olive baboon (papio anubis) is an Old World monkey that can boast the most widely distributed habitat in the baboon family, ranging throughout 25 countries from Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. Even though they do not have a prehensile tail, they are still good climbers if the occasion calls for it, like when they’re being chased by a leopard. These baboons also have powerful jaws and sharp canine teeth for eating a variety of plants and small animals. 2 of 18 Brown Capuchin Sean Fleming / EyeEm / Getty Images. If a monkey is one of the actors in your favorite movie or TV show, chances are it’s either a white or brown capuchin (cebus apella). These playful monkeys are known for their intelligence and curiosity, which makes them much easier to train than other small primates. Plus, they can live for up to 45 years in captivity. Brown capuchins have even been observed playing with objects placed in their enclosures, and according to the University of Michigan, they are the only neotropical primates (primates that are endemic to South and Central America) that do so. 3 of 18 Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images. The blue-faced golden snub-nosed monkey (rhinopithecus roxellana) is found in mountain forests at elevations ranging from 1,600 to 4,000 meters above sea level. These monkeys are highly social and display a group behavior that is uncommon in primates in which group sizes are formed depending on the season. Summer troops reach as many as 600 individuals, which is considered quite large in the primate world, but as colder weather sets in the groups break into subgroups of 60 to 70 only to merge up again in the spring. It’s believed that this behavior has to do with human disturbance or food availability, however the elusiveness of golden snub-nosed monkeys makes them difficult to study. 4 of 18 Pygmy Marmoset Anolis01 / Getty Images. As the name suggests, the pygmy marmoset (callithrix pygmaea) is small — the smallest monkey on earth, in fact. A New World monkey endemic to the western Amazon Basin, pygmy marmosets weigh just .4 to .5 ounces at birth. It doesn’t get much better from there, since they only reach three to five ounces and 12 to 16 centimeters long by adulthood. A pygmy marmoset’s tail, on the other hand, often grows to be longer than its body, anywhere from 17 to 23 centimeters. Due to their small side, pygmy marmosets live in dense rain forests with plenty of hiding places and have a home range of no more than half an acre. 5 of 18 Mandrill Anup Shah / Getty Images. On the other side of the spectrum, the mandrill (mandrillus sphinx) is the largest monkey in the world. Found in tropical rainforest habitats throughout equatorial Africa, these primates are shy and reclusive despite their massive size. Males reach heights of about 80 centimeters and can weigh up to 54 kilograms, with brilliantly-colored rumps, olive green bodies, and a red stripe down their muzzles. Contrary to popular belief, mandrills are different from baboons. The easiest way to tell them apart is by their bright colors and longer teeth that give them the ability to consume tough food like hard-shelled fruits. 6 of 18 Central American Spider Monkey Paul Souders / Getty Images. The Central American spider monkey (ateles geoffroyi) also goes by the names black-handed spider monkey and Geoffroy’s spider monkey. Found from the coasts of Mexico to the northwestern parts of Colombia, these long-limbed monkeys are known as some of the world’s most agile primates. In comparison to their body length, they also have extremely long tails, which they use as a fifth limb for hanging from trees or for picking up fruit. The loud barking noise they make when threatened and their tendency for shaking tree branches when approached by humans makes them easy targets for poachers, which is one of the reasons why these nimble monkeys are endangered. 7 of 18 Emperor Tamarin Daniel Hernanz Ramos / Getty Images. It’s not hard to guess what the emperor tamarin (saguinus imperator) is best known for. This species is believed to have been named after German emperor Wilhelm II, who wore a similar-looking upturned mustache. They’re found in the Amazon Basin across Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia in a variety of wooded habitats from mountains to forests. Emperor tamarins also have long, red tails, with small spots of gold, white, and red on their primarily-gray bodies. 8 of 18 Spix’s Night Monkey ©Juan Carlos Vindas / Getty Images. The Spix’s night monkey (aotus vociferans) is nocturnal, typically waking up about 15 minutes after sunset and returning to bed before the sun rises. Scientists believe these monkeys evolved to become nocturnal to compete for dwindling resources. Spix’s night monkeys are also known for being one of the most aggressive New World monkeys, and also for being one of the few monochromat species (meaning they can not perceive any color besides black, white, and gray). 9 of 18 Proboscis Monkey Jami Tarris / Getty Images. Found only on the Asian island of Borneo, the endangered proboscis monkey (nasalis larvatus) has one of the most unique faces in the Old World family thanks to its massive nose, believed to help them attract mates and amplify mating calls. As a colobinae monkey, they have developed a specialized stomach to help them digest young leaves and unripe fruit seeds. They are also great swimmers, often seen crossing crocodile-infested rivers within their preferred swampy forest habitats. 10 of 18 Bald Uakari MikeLane45 / Getty Images. The feature that helps set the bald uakari monkey (cacajao calvus) apart from the rest is hard to miss.This hairless, bright crimson face isn’t just for show, but is actually used to measure the health level of an individual monkey, growing more pale when they’re sick with illnesses like malaria. That’s not all; the redness is also related to a male’s testosterone level and a female’s estrogen levels. Bald uakaris are only found in tropical forests, so they are particularly susceptible to habitat loss from deforestation. 11 of 18 Japanese Macaque By Alan Tsai / Getty Images. Also known as snow monkeys, the Japanese macaque (macaca fuscata) is an Old World monkey found on three out of the five main islands of Japan.They live further north than any other primate and are super adaptable, inhabiting both warm and cold climates; there was even a troop successfully introduced to a sanctuary in Texas. A volcanic hot springs region in Honshu, Japan is famous for its troop of snow monkeys who frequent the hot springs, attracting tourists from all over the world 12 of 18 Gelada guenterguni / Getty Images. Gelada monkeys (theropithecus gelada) are special in that they only live in the very highest mountains of Ethiopia and are the world’s most terrestrial non-human primates. Another noteworthy feature are their incredibly flexible opposable fingers and thumbs. Unlike some of their other primate peers, gelada monkeys are very poor tree climbers, instead spending 99% of their time on the ground grazing for food and using rocky cliffs to evade predators. 13 of 18 Western Red Colobus Denja1 / Getty Images. The western red colobus (piliocolobus badius) has a very unique multi-chambered digestive system, similar to a ruminant animal like a cow. They’re also born without thumbs and instead have a small bump on the side of their hands, living almost all of their lives in high tree canopies and rarely descending to the forest floor. These monkeys are found in western Africa and are a primary prey source for local chimpanzees, a factor that (along with hunting and logging) contributes to their endangered status. Sadly, western red colobus monkeys have a mortality rate of 30% within their first six months of life. 14 of 18 White-faced Saki Ondrej Prosicky / Getty Images. New World monkeys who occupy most of their time in trees, white-faced sakis (pithecia pithecia) are amazing athletes. They move throughout their South American forest habitats by leaping through the treetops, covering distances as far as 33 feet in a single bound when threatened. While jumping is their main mode of transportation, they also move quadrupedally on occasion, descending to lower tree limbs and even all the way to the ground in search of fruit. 15 of 18 Black Snub-nosed Monkey Fabio Nodari / EyeEm / Getty Images. The black snub-nosed monkey (rhinopithecus bieti) lives at altitudes higher than any other non-human primate, up to 4,700 meters above sea level. These endangered monkeys are only found in the Hengduan Mountains in southwest China and Tibet, and it is estimated that there are only 2,500 left in the wild. With the exception of when they’re being threatened, black snub-nosed monkeys are extremely quiet, communicating with each other primarily through eye contact and gestures. 16 of 18 Roloway Monkey jgaunion / Getty Images. One of the most endangered monkeys in the world, roloway monkey (cercopithecus roloway) populations have seen a rapid decline in recent years due to habitat degradation and illegal meat poaching. They’re found in western Africa, and it is estimated that only about 1,000 still exist in Ghana. Roloway monkeys are one of the largest members of the Old World guenon genus and are often confused with Diana monkeys, an endangered species from the same region that is also threatened by poaching. 17 of 18 Black Howler Martin Schneiter / EyeEm / Getty Images. Black howler monkeys (alouatta caraya) have an enlarged hyoid bone in their throats that helps release a call that can be heard up to three miles away. They’re the largest monkeys in Latin America and often make up the highest percentage of primates in their habitats. Black howlers aren’t always black, either; they are one of the only monkeys in the world where females are different colors than males (males are black while females are blonde). Out of all New World monkeys, black howler monkeys are also some of the least active, sleeping or resting for up to 70 percent of the day. 18 of 18 Barbary Macaque Laura BC / Getty Images. Inhabiting the mountains and forests of Morocco, Algeria, and Gibarlter, barbary macaques (macaca sylvanus) are the only wild monkeys found in Europe. These monkeys are endangered due to habitat loss, which has forced entire populations further up into areas with less food and protection. Even worse, it is estimated that about 300 infant barbary macaques are taken illegally out of Morocco for pet trade each year. View Article Sources “Monkey.” San Diego Zoo. “Baboon.” American Wildlife Foundation. “Rhinopithecus Roxellana Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey.” University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. “Pygmy Marmoset Callithrix Pygmaea.” San Diego Zoo. “Mandrillus Sphinx Mandrill.” University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Galbany, Jordi, et al. “Age-Related Tooth Wear Differs Between Forest and Savanna Primates.” PLoS ONE, vol. 9, 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094938 “Ateles Geoffroyi Central American Spider Monkey.” University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Cortes-Ortíz, L., et al. “Ateles Geoffroyi.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020, doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T2279A17929000.en “Emperor Tamarin.” Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. “Spix’s Night Monkey Aotus Vociferans.” New England Primate Conservancy. “Southeastern Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.” World Wildlife Fund. Mayor, P., et al. “Proximate Causes of the Red Face of the Bald Uakari Monkey (Cacajao Calvus).” R Soc open sci, vol. 2, 2015, doi: 10.1098/rsos.150145 Hardman, B. “Macaca Fuscata Japanese Macaque (Also: Snow Monkey).” University of Michigan Zoology Museum. “Gelada.” African Wildlife Foundation. Vasselin, K. “Piliocolobus Badius Western Red Colobus.” University of Michigan Zoology Museum. “Pale-Headed Saki Monkey.” Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. Deng, X. “Rhinopithecus Bieti Black Snub-Nosed Monkey.” University of Michigan Zoology Museum. Johnson, K. “Cercopithecus Roloway Roloway Monkey.” University of Michigan Zoology Museum. “Black Howler Monkey.” Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. Jinn, J. “Macaca Sylvanus Barbary Macaque.” University of Michigan Zoology Museum.

What are the 4 types of monkey?

Capuchin Monkey. Capuchin monkeys are from the New Work monkey group and come under the subfamily called Cebinae. ….Tamarin Monkey. ….Gorillas. ….Proboscis Monkey. ….Baboons. ….Mandrill Baboon. ….Orangutan. ….Macaque Monkey.

What kinds of monkeys are there?

Old World monkeys are found in Africa and Asia. Some examples are guenons, mangabeys, macaques, baboons, and colobus monkeys. New World monkeys are found in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Some examples are woolly monkeys, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and squirrel monkeys.

What are the top 5 monkeys?

Rafiki, The Lion King..Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong. ….Lancelot Link, Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. ….Abu, Aladdin. ….Grape Ape, The Great Grape Ape Show. ….Jack, Pirates of the Caribbean. ….Moon-Watcher, 2001: A Space Odyssey. ….Chim Chim, Speed Racer. …

What is the most common type of monkey?

The most common monkey species found in animal research are the grivet, the rhesus macaque, and the crab-eating macaque, which are either wild-caught or purpose-bred.

We think we know monkeys for their playful behavior, their swinging around the jungle, and oddly familiar expressions (we’re related to them, after all). But how are all the types of monkeys different from other primates, which include great apes like gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees—and us? “I think one of the simplest ways to define a monkey when compared to other primates is to look to their tail—monkeys in a general sense encompass numerous tailed primate species,” says Victor Alm, zoological manager, primate unit, Saint Louis Zoo. “Other primate groups such as lemurs [part of the “prosimian” group, which is considered more primitive than monkeys] do have tails, but apes do not.” Monkeys also tend to have relatively flat and short faces, move with all four limbs, have hands and feet typically with a big toe or thumb, and live in social family groups, he says.

Spider monkeys, which live from Mexico down to Brazil, are one of the largest Central/South American monkeys , and are known for their long limbs, grasping tail, and ability to swing and jump through the forest. “I am extremely biased to them, but they are beautiful and amazing for so many reasons,” says Dr. Rodrigues, who has studied them in the field. Alm is also partial to the spider monkey for its advanced tail. “They can use this to grasp things like a branch for stability, or to free up both their hands to grab and manipulate objects and items,” he says. “They also have a reduced thumb, so often it appears they only have four digits on their hands—some think this may have occurred due to lack of use when moving through the trees.” “Titi monkeys, found in Amazonia, are fascinating,” Rodrigues says. “Because they are monogamous, males spend a lot of time caring for infants, and whole titi monkey families will twine their tales together as they huddle and sleep.” Titis also encompass the most species of monkeys, with over 30. “The white-faced saki monkey is an amazing primate species found in several nations in northern South America,” he says. “They have a threat display where they fluff up all the hair on their body, give a low guttural call and shake a branch or their body in a rigid arched posture. Imagine a giant four-pound puff ball jumping up and down in front of you—if I were a predator, I might hesitate and that could give this monkey a chance to escape.” Central and South America are home to several more types of monkeys as well. Small squirrel monkeys, relatives of capuchins, are also totally adorable with fur ranging from orange to white and black. As their name implies, the 15 species of howler monkeys are very noisy creatures whose cries can be heard up to three miles away.

Types of monkey with pictures and facts – a look at the different monkey groups and well-known monkey species. Discover the biggest, smallest, most common and most endangered species of monkey…

The old world monkeys and the apes branched off from one another around 25 million years ago. There are five families of new world monkey: Callitrichidae, Cebidae, Aotidae, Pitheciidae and Atelidae. Over millions of years several branches appeared in the primate family tree. The new world monkeys branched off from other simians around 40 million years ago. (The reached South America either via a land bridge or by being carried across the sea on a natural raft probably made of vegetation.) It wouldn’t be for another 15 million years that the apes and the old world monkeys would branch off from one another. Photo: Charles J Sharp (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ] Scientific name: Cercopithecus mitis Conservation status: Least Concern Despite its name, the blue monkey is mainly dark grey, with lighter, olive-grey patches on its face. Photo by Charles J Sharp (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ] Scientific name: Papio ursinus Conservation status: Least Concern It is found in several southern African countries, including South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Like all baboons it has a long, dog-like snout and spends more time on the ground than most other types of monkey. Photo: kallerna (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 ] Scientific name: Macaca fascicularis Conservation status: Least Concern Despite the name, crabs do not usually form a major part of the species’ diet, which also contains fruits, seeds and other plant matter. The crab-eating macaque is found in the wild in several countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Photo: BluesyPete (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 ] Scientific name: Theropithecus gelada Conservation status: Least Concern With a global population of around 200,000 mature individuals, the gelada is thought to be the world’s commonest monkey. Photo: Marie de Carne (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ] Scientific name: Lophocebus albigena Conservation status: Least Concern This dark-colored, relatively small monkey lives mainly in the forest canopy, where it forages for the fruit that make up the majority of its diet. Photo by Jonathan Forage Scientific name: Macaca fuscata Conservation status: Least Concern The Japanese macaque is found only in Japan, where it mainly lives in forests. Photo: Marie Hale (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY 2.0 ] Scientific name: Colobus polykomos Conservation status: Vulnerable This rainforest monkey is found in several countries in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea. It lives in small groups who warn off rival troops by calling. Photo by Yomex Owo Scientific name: Cercopithecidae Conservation status: Vulnerable Mandrills inhabit the rainforests of the West African countries Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. They live in large groups, spending most of the time on the ground, but also entering the forest canopy to feed. Photo: Charles J Sharp (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ] Scientific name: Nasalis larvatus Conservation status: Endangered It lives near rivers, swamps and coasts, possibly because the soil of these areas is rich in minerals and salts. Much of the proboscis monkey’s natural habitat has been lost due to logging. Photo: Thomas Schoch (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 ] Scientific name: Macaca mulatta Conservation status: Least Concern This adaptable monkey is found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, shrublands, grasslands and human towns and cities. The rhesus macaque is a common sight in Asian cities, where it has learned to acquire food by begging, rooting through trash, or even stealing directly from humans. Vervet monkeys live in troops which range in size from 10 to 38 members. Female vervet monkeys stay with their troops for their entire lives. Although the conservation status of the vervet monkey is Least Concern, the species is hunted for bushmeat, and is also regarded as a pest by local farmers. Photo: Doug DeNeve (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 2.0 ] Scientific name: Cacajao calvus Conservation status: Vulnerable The bald uakari is found in the seasonally flooded forests of Brazil and Peru. The species’ preference for living near rivers means that it is vulnerable to human interference. Photo: Miguelrangeljr (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 ] Scientific name: Sapajus flavius Conservation status: Critically Endangered The blond capuchin is threatened both by habitat loss and by hunting for food and for the pet trade. Brown woolly monkey photographed near the Tarumã Açu River in the Amazon Rainforest. The brown woolly monkey lives in the tropical and subtropical forests of South America, including the Amazon Rainforest. Countries in which the species is present include Brazil, Columbia and Peru. During the day these larger groups split into smaller foraging parties. The common marmoset is a very small monkey with an average height of around 18.6 cm (7.3 in.) The species feeds mainly on gum and sap exuded from trees and insects. The species travels and forages mainly in the lower canopy and understorey. It is among the largest of the new world monkeys, reaching weights of around 9 kg (20 lb.). The species spends most of its time in the rainforest canopy, where it forages for its preferred food of fruit. Geoffroy’s spider monkey plays an important role in the forest ecosystem as a disperser of fruit seeds. The main threat to Geoffroy’s spider monkey is habitat loss, although the species is also hunted by humans. Scientific name: Leontopithecus rosalia Conservation status: Endangered The golden lion tamarin is an endangered species, with only an estimated 1,000 mature individuals left in the wild. The species is only found in Brazil, where it is present in the Atlantic coastal forests east of Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Don Faulkner (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 2.0 ] Scientific name: Cebuella pygmaea Conservation status: Least Concern The pygmy marmoset has specially adapted teeth that allow it to gnaw holes in the bark of trees in order to feed on sap. The species is relatively common in its range, and its conservation status is Least Concern. Photo by David J. Stang (resized / cropped by ActiveWild.com) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ] Scientific name: Aotus trivirgatus Conservation status: Least Concern Its diet includes fruit, nuts and other plant matter, as well as insects and bird eggs.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the 25 most amazing types of monkeys in the world. From intelligent chimpanzees to beautifully colosred mandrills, we have photos and fun facts about all the world’s most spectacular primate species.

As an added bonus, we’ve also included some information on how monkeys are classified as well as some insight into the wonderful world of primates. However, we’ve compiled this list of the 25 most astounding types of monkeys so you can learn more about these amazing primates. These beautiful primates have long, golden orange fur coats and bright blue faces. Due to the extreme habitats that they call home, scientists believe that they’ve evolved to have flattened snub boats to protect them against frostbite. While these monkeys do live in forested terrain, the frigid winter temperatures of the Tibetan Plateau can easily drop well below freezing. When this happens, the golden snub-nosed monkey is known to huddle with its young and other members of its social group to stay warm. It’s believed that deforestation is one of the main causes of the species’ decline, though poaching for fur, meat, and the traditional medicine trade is also a concern. Arguably one of the most recognizable of the Old World monkeys, mandrills are large primates native to western and central Africa. They visually resemble baboons, though recent genetic studies suggest that they are less closely related than we originally thought. Mandrills are best known for their extreme sexual dimorphism, which means that the males and females vary greatly in terms of visual presentation. Interestingly, proboscis monkeys have a unique multi-chambered stomach that’s specifically designed to help them digest leaves. They prefer to live in some of the coldest regions of Japan where they seek out thermal springs for warmth. Indeed, they’ll often be found gathering in groups in thermal baths that are heated by Japan’s geothermal activity. Also called the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, this primate features a characteristic snub-nose and a beautiful black fur coat to help it stay warm in its mountainous habitat. They are often found up to 15,000 feet (4,700 m) above sea level and they will travel to higher elevations in the winter in search of food. Europe’s only primary species, the Barbary macaque is found throughout northern Africa and in a small, isolated part of Gibraltar on the European mainland. However, the population of the macaque in Gibraltar was completely wiped out by disease in the 1900s, so officials reintroduced them to the region from North Africa. However, they don’t thrive in captivity and the illegal trade of common marmosets has caused their population numbers to twindle in recent years. The world’s smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset is an adorable primate that lives throughout the rainforests of South America. Its small stature and brownish fur coat make it look a lot like a type of squirrel , but the pygmy marmoset is, indeed, a monkey! While the pygmy marmoset’s tail isn’t prehensile, it does help the monkey keep its balance as it travels through the trees. That being said, the very small size of pygmy marmosets means that they are often preyed upon by cats, like jaguars, that also roam the rainforest. The pygmy marmoset is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN, so it is one of the relatively few primates that is not endangered. These monkeys are considered to be sacred in many local cultures, though they are currently decreasing in population due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Northern plains gray langurs prefer to live in dry and deciduous forests, but you can also find them in regions with human-dominated landscapes, like cities. These monkeys have tails that are more than one and a half times the length of their bodies, which helps them with balance when swinging through the trees. An unmistakable species, the bald uakari is a large primate found in the western part of the Amazon. Most at home in rainforests, the bald uakari prefers to live in highly fertile regions that experience seasonal floods. Although they are currently listed as a species of least concern, their population numbers are dropping due to hunting and habitat destruction. Distributed widely throughout the rainforests of South America, the Colombian red howler is one of the largest of the New World monkey species. They prefer to spend most of their time in the canopy, where their prehensile tail helps them grasp branches and other objects. Furthermore, despite habitat loss, the Colombian red howler is listed as a species of least concern, which bodes well for its future population growth. One of the few non-human primates that prefers to spend its time with both feet planted firmly on the ground, the gelada is a large, Old World monkey that lives in the grasslands of the Ethiopian Highlands. They have a distinctive brownish coloring with a large, pink, hourglass-shaped red area located firmly in the middle of their chests. Geladas are listed as a species of least concern, though they are preyed upon by hyenas, leopards, jackals, servals, and wild dogs. These adorable primates have a black coat with a large, white, mustache-like tuft of fur extending from each side of their face. When combined with their small size, extra-long tail, and big brown eyes, there’s a lot to love about this cuddly-looking monkey. It lives almost exclusively in habitats within karst topographical landscapes, which boast limestone cliffs that the monkeys like to call home. Boasting a striking black and white coloration, the Roloway monkey is a large primate found in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The Roloway monkey lives mostly in dense forests where it feeds off of various fruits, insects, seeds, and leaves. Among the most endangered primates in the world, the stunning red-shanked douc is found only in parts of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Red-shanked docs prefer to live in tropical and subtropical forests where they can feed on leaves, fruits, bark, and flowers. Traditionally found throughout southern and central Asia, the rhesus macaque is a small, tan-colored monkey with a pink face. There are now some troops of rhesus macaques that can be found in the US states and territories of Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico, where they were introduced, mostly in a failed attempt to drive tourism to those respective areas. Since they can live in a wide variety of habitats, scientists aren’t too concerned about their population, though diseases introduced by humans may be a potential problem in the future. Distributed widely throughout eastern and central Africa, the blue monkey , or diamed, is a handsome-looking species that’s known to dwell high in the forest canopy. All monkeys are classified within the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Mammalia, and order Primates. The first suborder, Strepsirrhini, contains the lemurs, galagos (bush babies), and lorises, none of which are generally considered to be monkeys. Home to the squirrel monkeys and the capuchins, the family Cebidae is native to South and Central America. Like other New World monkeys, this family prefers to live in the trees where they can find fruit and insects to feed on. Unfortunately, many night monkey species are classified as threatened or endangered due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Although they are generally smaller than apes and Old World monkeys, the 29 species in the family Atelidae do have fairly large bodies. They also live only in Asia, Africa, and Europe, so the geographic differences make them easier to distinguish from their New World counterparts. That being said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also clue you into some general monkey biology and facts for you to share with your friends and family. They were also introduced to Europe by the Moors during the Middle Ages, though the only current European population of monkeys lives in Gibraltar. The majority of species that are at risk of extinction are listed as such due to the effects of habitat loss, human conflict, hunting, or trapping for the international pet trade. Although you can find monkeys in a variety of different habitats around the world, the majority of these primates live in tropical rainforests . While it’s hard to quantify precisely which species is the most dangerous, many people regard baboons and mandrills as particularly violent toward humans. But, one study on animal behavior did find that rhesus monkeys are afraid of snakes , a fear that appears to be quite common in the primate world.

How Many Types of Monkeys Are There in the World?

We’re not monkeying around: Find out all the fascinating facts about these incredible animals.

What is a monkey, exactly?

We think we know monkeys for their playful behavior, their swinging around the jungle, and oddly familiar expressions (we’re related to them, after all). But how are all the types of monkeys different from other primates, which include great apes like gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees—and us? “I think one of the simplest ways to define a monkey when compared to other primates is to look to their tail—monkeys in a general sense encompass numerous tailed primate species,” says Victor Alm, zoological manager, primate unit, Saint Louis Zoo. “Other primate groups such as lemurs [part of the “prosimian” group, which is considered more primitive than monkeys] do have tails, but apes do not.” Monkeys also tend to have relatively flat and short faces, move with all four limbs, have hands and feet typically with a big toe or thumb, and live in social family groups, he says.“Fun fact: Apes could properly use the monkey bars, but most monkeys can’t because arm-to-arm swinging requires more shoulder mobility than monkeys have,” says Michelle Rodrigues, PhD, a biological anthropologist at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. Apes have more upright posture and fully mobile shoulder joints, she says. Monkeys also differ from nocturnal prosimians by having traits like fully enclosed bony eye sockets that help them see better during the day. Primates of all stripes make for some of the most amazing animal photos.

Old World monkeys

OK, so now that we know what a monkey is, exactly how many types of monkeys are there? “Monkeys are broadly divided into Old World species—160 species, and New World species—174 species,” says Jessica A. Mayhew, PhD, assistant professor of anthropology and museum studies, and director of the Primate Behavior and Ecology Program at Central Washington University. So that’s 334 species altogether! Alm says Old and New World monkeys have different kinds of noses, with Old World monkeys having narrow noses with downward-facing nostrils. Dr. Rodrigues says their teeth and vision differ, with Old World monkeys having fewer teeth and color vision.As their name suggests, Old and New World monkeys live in different geographic regions, with Old World monkeys in Africa and Asia, and New World in Central and South America. Dr. Rodrigues points out that many monkey experts are replacing the terms “Old World” and “New World” with African/Asian and Central/South American to reflect a less Euro-centric and colonialist point of view; we’ll use both interchangeably here. Find out how many orangutans are left in the world.

New World monkeys

Another major difference with the Central/South American monkeys is that some species of these types of monkeys have “prehensile” tails, which means they can grasp objects. “This means they can fully support their own body weight by hanging from their tails,” Dr. Rodrigues says. These monkeys also spend a lot more time in trees, whereas African/Asian monkeys prefer the ground. New World monkeys have broad noses with outward-facing nostrils, Alm says. In addition, “some Central/South American monkeys vary in whether they have full-color vision, limited color vision—the equivalent of color-blindness in humans—or a mix of the two, with all males color-blind, but female varying,” Dr. Rodrigues says. New World monkeys can also be found in the Caribbean, including on this gorgeous Caribbean island you’ve never heard of.

Baboons

Within these broad geographic categories, there are narrower groups each called a “genus,” which often have common names like “baboon.” These can be further broken down into species. For example, there are five species of baboon: the olive baboon, the yellow baboon, the hamadryas or “sacred” baboon,” the chacma baboon, and the Guinea baboon. Baboons, which live in Africa and Arabia, are some of the largest monkeys. They’re recognized by their distinctive long muzzles and hairless bottoms, which cushion their tushes for sitting on the ground. Unfortunately, because they often come into contact with humans, they’re sometimes seen as a pest. Their bad reputation isn’t helped by this fact: “Baboons will use infants as shields,” Dr. Mayhew says. Many animals in a variety of places are decreasing in number. Find out how many elephants are left in the world.

Macaques

If you’ve ever seen monkeys chilling in natural hot springs in snow-covered Japan, those are the types of monkeys called macaques, which live in Asia and Africa. In a fun fact about animals you probably didn’t know before, macaques have also been known to pick-pocket coins. “There are 23 species, and each brings something unique to the table,” Mayhew says. “Tibetan macaques live exciting, noisy, and very social lives, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of their complex social behaviors. Tibetan macaques and some other species engage in what we call ‘bridging’ behavior, where an infant is used as a social tool between two adults. One will scoop up an infant and bring it to another, where they will both hold it and chatter or lip-smack over its genitals. Why this happens exactly isn’t completely understood, but it’s fascinating nonetheless!”Dr. Rodrigues loves Barbary macaques. “Barbary macaques are found in North Africa, and what’s interesting about them is that males spend a lot of time carrying and playing with the infants,” she says. Find out the animals you didn’t know could talk.

Guenons

With 26 species, guenons are the largest and most diverse group of African primates, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. They’re known for their colorful fur patterns and for their gracefulness, thanks to a long tail that helps them balance. One monkey that’s often grouped with guenons is one of Alm’s favorites, Allen’s swamp monkey. As its name implies, this monkey spends a lot of time near water. “An interesting feature about them can be found on their hands—Allen’s swamp monkeys have a slight skin webbing that can be seen between their fingers and toes, which aids them while swimming to forage or escape predators,” he says.

Mangabeys

These African monkeys are known for their white eyelids, although not all of their 13 species have them. Rodrigues describes one of her favorites: “Red-capped mangabeys live in West Africa, and they have a characteristic dark mahogany ‘cap’ on their head,” she says. “They have ‘fission-fusion’ social organization, which means instead of staying in one cohesive group, the larger community can split off into subgroups.” Sadly, the red-capped mangabey is one of the wild animals that became endangered in 2019, moving up from “vulnerable” status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Colobus monkeys

Colobus monkeys have a lot in common with Asian monkeys, with stomachs that have adapted to a diet of leaves. Yet they live in Africa, high up in trees.”I love the Zanzibar red colobus, which lives on Zanzibar and has striking red, black, and white coats with adorable tufts of white hair around their face,” Rodrigues says. Unfortunately, the Zanzibar red colobus is endangered. Alm likes the Guereza colobus monkey. “One unique and distinctive feature of this leaf-eating monkey species is that babies’ colorations are all white when they’re born,” he says. “One thought behind this is that they are easy to see and find by the family group up in the densely vegetated treetops.” Adults in this species have black and white fur around their face, white tails, and long, white hair around their back.

Drills and mandrills

Related to baboons, drills and mandrills have distinctive physical characteristics and short tails. “Mandrills live in West Africa, and they are known for their beautiful red and blue faces and butts, and the intensity of that coloration varies with hormones,” Rodrigues says. They may be some of the most colorful animals in the world. “Additionally, they have the biggest canines of any primate, and the reason they have long faces is because their canine root is so huge,” she says. Drills, related African monkeys that also have colorful bottoms and long faces, have a red lower lip and are known to smile to keep the peace. Drills and mandrills are each their own species, so they’re one of a kind—and sadly, drills are endangered.

More African monkeys

The continent of Africa has no shortage of additional types of monkeys: The vervet monkey, which live in sub-Saharan Africa, are often recognizable for their gorgeous brown, gray or greenish fur, black faces, long tails, and agility. Some lesser-known monkeys are talapoins, which are the smallest Old World monkeys in Africa; patas monkeys, which have distinctive reddish fur and serious-looking eyebrows; and geladas, which look similar to baboons with long fur but only live in the mountains of Ethiopia, where they (rather unusually among monkeys) like to munch on grass. Known for their distinctive “bleeding heart,” a hairless red patch on their chest, geladas have provided some of the most strikingly beautiful animal photos you need to see.

Langurs

Langur is a broad, general term for many types of monkeys that live in Asia, are mainly tree-dwelling, and eat leaves. The related langur group also includes leaf monkeys, lutungs, doucs, and surilis, with at least 28 species combined. Many of them have distinctive fur patterns of white, black, red, gray or brown, as well as tufts of hair around their face—some even stick up like cartoon trolls! “I love silvery langurs, who live in Southeast Asia—all the adults are silver-grey, but infants are born a bright orange, and the bright color attracts females to help with caring for the infants,” Rodrigues says. They’re one of the animals who look nothing like their baby pictures.

Snub-nosed and proboscis monkeys

Rounding out the Asian crew, two more types of monkeys are known for their distinctive facial features. Snub-nosed monkeys, which include five species, have almost non-existent noses but large lips. Living mainly in China, these interesting-looking monkeys are all endangered—some critically. The entirely different proboscis monkeys, on the other hand, have huge noses. They’re one of the amazing animals only found in one place in the world: the island of Borneo. Although it’s not known exactly what the point of their big noses is, recent research suggests the size of males’ noses may help them attract mates. The proboscis monkey, which is its own species, is also endangered.

Marmosets and tamarins

Crossing the Atlantic, we find the Central and South American “New World” monkeys. Popular favorites include the squirrel-like marmoset and its close relative, the adorable tamarin. “Tamarins and marmosets are a group of tiny monkeys that have some unique traits, including typically having twins,” Rodrigues says. “My favorite is the golden lion tamarin found in Brazil. They were very close to extinction, but re-introductions from golden lion tamarins that were born in zoos in the United States have helped build up the population.” Alm prefers the cotton-top tamarin, which has a precious puff of white on the top of its head.Offspring from these types of monkeys aren’t your average twins, either. “Marmosets and tamarins have dizygotic twins, meaning that the offspring can be sired by two dads,” Mayhew says. “Dads help out with caring for the offspring as well, which is uncommon among primates.”

Capuchins

You’re probably familiar with cute capuchins from movies and television, includingAnother interest capuchin fact? “Some untufted, or white-fronted, capuchins use smelly plants, such as leaves from the Piper plant, citrus, or alliums, to anoint themselves and others in their social group,” Mayhew says. “This is thought to act as a sort of natural insect repellent during the wet season, and it’s quite the social event as well!”

Spider monkeys

Spider monkeys, which live from Mexico down to Brazil, are one of the largest Central/South American monkeys, and are known for their long limbs, grasping tail, and ability to swing and jump through the forest. “I am extremely biased to them, but they are beautiful and amazing for so many reasons,” says Dr. Rodrigues, who has studied them in the field. “The spider monkeys uses their prehensile tail to be able to swing underhand under branches—they are the one monkey that could use the monkey bars, but that’s because they cheat and use their tails to help them!”Alm is also partial to the spider monkey for its advanced tail. “They can use this to grasp things like a branch for stability, or to free up both their hands to grab and manipulate objects and items,” he says. “They also have a reduced thumb, so often it appears they only have four digits on their hands—some think this may have occurred due to lack of use when moving through the trees.”

Titis, sakis, and bald uakaris

These animals that only live in the Amazon rainforest, titi monkeys and their close relatives, saki monkeys, have very furry faces. But their other close relative, the bald uakari, has an incredibly red, “bald” face due to the many blood vessels under its thin skin. “Titi monkeys, found in Amazonia, are fascinating,” Rodrigues says. “Because they are monogamous, males spend a lot of time caring for infants, and whole titi monkey families will twine their tales together as they huddle and sleep.” Titis also encompass the most species of monkeys, with over 30.Alm has a preference for one saki species. “The white-faced saki monkey is an amazing primate species found in several nations in northern South America,” he says. “They have a threat display where they fluff up all the hair on their body, give a low guttural call and shake a branch or their body in a rigid arched posture. Imagine a giant four-pound puff ball jumping up and down in front of you—if I were a predator, I might hesitate and that could give this monkey a chance to escape.”

Additional Monkey Information On Active Wild

Types Of Monkey

There are around 267 species of monkey living today. They are divided into two main types of monkey: old world monkeys and new world monkeys.All of the old world monkeys belong to a single family, whereas the new world monkeys are divided between five families.On this page you’ll find information on the two main types of monkey (old world monkeys and new world monkeys) plus pictures and facts on some notable species in both groups.

The Two Main Types Of Monkey: Meet The Old World Monkeys and the New World Monkeys.

Monkeys are mammals in the order Primates. Not all primates are monkeys; the order Primates also includes animals such as apes, tarsiers and lemurs.Most monkeys are social, arboreal (tree-dwelling) animals. Even those that don’t live in trees (such as baboons) are descended from animals that once did.Monkeys have a wide range of adaptations for an arboreal lifestyle. These include long, flexible limbs and dexterous hands and feet. Their eyes are forward-facing, giving them good depth perception. This helps them to judge their leaps as they make their way through the trees.Monkeys are highly-intelligent. Research has shown that social primate species tend to have larger brains than those that are less social.

New World Monkeys

The old world monkeys are found on the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe (only one species of monkey, the Barbary macaque, is found in Europe).Old world monkeys tend to be larger in size than their new world counterparts. They have shorter tails and their thumbs are opposable.Old world monkeys, together with apes, form the group Catarrhini. The name Catarrhini means ‘down-nosed’, and refers to the downwards-pointing nostrils of these primates.The old world monkeys and the apes branched off from one another around 25 million years ago. There is just one family of old world monkeys: Cercopithecidae.Within the old world monkey family are several sub-groups, including:

Why Are There Two Main Types Of Monkey?

The first primates appeared at some point between 85 and 55 million years ago. All of today’s primates evolved from these early primates.Over millions of years several branches appeared in the primate family tree. These would become the various primate groups (apes, tarsiers, monkeys, etc.) that we know today.One such branch is Simiiformes, a group of primates whose members are known as simians. Today there are three main groups of simians: the old world monkeys, the new world monkeys, and the apes.The new world monkeys branched off from other simians around 40 million years ago. They found themselves cut off from the other simians after having made their way to what is now South America. (The reached South America either via a land bridge or by being carried across the sea on a natural raft probably made of vegetation.)It wouldn’t be for another 15 million years that the apes and the old world monkeys would branch off from one another.Surprisingly, this means that an old world monkey is more closely related to an ape such as a gorilla, or a human, than it is to a new world monkey.

Types Of Monkey: Old World Species

Chacma Baboon

The blue monkey is a species of old world monkey present in several central and east African countries, from Sudan in the north to South Africa at the foot of the continent.Despite its name, the blue monkey is mainly dark grey, with lighter, olive-grey patches on its face. The species inhabits several types of forest, including tropical rainforest and bamboo forest.

Gelada

The crab-eating macaque is one of 23 species of macaques. This particular species gets its name from its habit of foraging on beaches for crabs. Despite the name, crabs do not usually form a major part of the species’ diet, which also contains fruits, seeds and other plant matter. The monkey will also consume small vertebrates and invertebrates.The species is also known as the ‘long-tailed macaque’ due to its long tail, which can be longer than its body.The crab-eating macaque is found in the wild in several countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Japanese Macaque

The grey-cheeked mangabey lives in the forests of several central African countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Central African Republic and The Democratic Republic of the Congo. This dark-colored, relatively small monkey lives mainly in the forest canopy, where it forages for the fruit that make up the majority of its diet.The grey-cheeked mangabey is one of six species of crested mangabey.

Mandrill

The king colobus is one of five species in the genus Colobus, whose members are together known as the black and white colobuses.This rainforest monkey is found in several countries in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea. It lives in small groups who warn off rival troops by calling.The king colobus is rated Vulnerable. The main threat to its survival is hunting. It is also threatened by habitat loss.

Vervet Monkey

The proboscis monkey is one of the best known types of monkey due to its slightly bizarre appearance. This long-nosed simian is only found in the forests of Borneo. It lives near rivers, swamps and coasts, possibly because the soil of these areas is rich in minerals and salts.The main threat to this endangered monkey is deforestation. Much of the proboscis monkey’s natural habitat has been lost due to logging.

Types Of Monkey: New World Species

Black Howler Monkey

The bald uakari is found in the seasonally flooded forests of Brazil and Peru. It has a shaggy brown coat and a hairless head. Its tail is short for a new world monkey.The species’ preference for living near rivers means that it is vulnerable to human interference. It is threatened by deforestation for logging and small-scale agriculture. The species is also threatened by hunting, although its human-like looks make it less-likely to be hunted than other monkeys in some parts of its range.

Brown Woolly Monkey / Common Woolly Monkey

The blond capuchin is the world’s most endangered monkey. Only an estimated 180 mature individuals remain. The species is only found in the coastal rainforests of northeastern Brazil.Named for its blonde fur, the blonde capuchin has a combined body-tail length of around 75 cm (30 in.) and weighs up to 3 kg (6.6 lb.)The blond capuchin is threatened both by habitat loss and by hunting for food and for the pet trade.

Common Squirrel Monkey

The common marmoset is a very small monkey with an average height of around 18.6 cm (7.3 in.) and an average weight of around 246 g (8.7 oz.). Their tails are relatively long. Like other marmosets it only has nails on its big toes; all of its other digits have claws. The species feeds mainly on gum and sap exuded from trees and insects.

Golden Lion Tamarin

Geoffroy’s spider monkey is an endangered monkey found from southern Mexico south to Panama. It is among the largest of the new world monkeys, reaching weights of around 9 kg (20 lb.). The species spends most of its time in the rainforest canopy, where it forages for its preferred food of fruit. Geoffroy’s spider monkey plays an important role in the forest ecosystem as a disperser of fruit seeds.The main threat to Geoffroy’s spider monkey is habitat loss, although the species is also hunted by humans.

Three-Striped Night Monkey

The pygmy marmoset is the world’s smallest monkey. It has a combined body and tail length of around 33.5 cm (13.2 in.), and weighs a little over 100 grams (3.5 oz.).This diminutive primate lives in the Amazon rainforest. It is most often found in the understorey layer, and prefers to live near rivers.The pygmy marmoset has specially adapted teeth that allow it to gnaw holes in the bark of trees in order to feed on sap. It also east insects and fruit.The species is relatively common in its range, and its conservation status is Least Concern.

The 25 Most Extraordinary Types of Monkeys

There are more than 260 different types of monkeys in the world today, so we couldn’t possibly list them all here. However, we’ve compiled this list of the 25 most astounding types of monkeys so you can learn more about these amazing primates.

1. Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey (

One of the most visually striking types of monkeys, the golden snub-nosed monkey, also known as the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey, is a highly sociable type of Old World monkey that lives in a small, fragmented area of the Tibetan Plateau in China.These beautiful primates have long, golden orange fur coats and bright blue faces. Due to the extreme habitats that they call home, scientists believe that they’ve evolved to have flattened snub boats to protect them against frostbite.In fact, it’s believed that the golden snub-nosed monkey is the most cold-tolerant of all non-human primate species.While these monkeys do live in forested terrain, the frigid winter temperatures of the Tibetan Plateau can easily drop well below freezing. When this happens, the golden snub-nosed monkey is known to huddle with its young and other members of its social group to stay warm.Unfortunately, these monkeys are considered to be one of the most endangered primates in the world. It’s believed that deforestation is one of the main causes of the species’ decline, though poaching for fur, meat, and the traditional medicine trade is also a concern.

2. Mandrill (

Arguably one of the most recognizable of the Old World monkeys, mandrills are large primates native to western and central Africa. They visually resemble baboons, though recent genetic studies suggest that they are less closely related than we originally thought.Mandrills are best known for their extreme sexual dimorphism, which means that the males and females vary greatly in terms of visual presentation. For example, the male mandril will usually be three times larger than the female. It will also have a brightly colored face and a distinctive blue backside.These monkeys like to live in densely forested areas where they try to avoid human contact. Most mandrills prefer to stay on the ground, though they are also adept climbers.Mandrills are currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. The main reason for its vulnerable status is the widespread deforestation that takes place in its range. However, it is also regularly hunted for bushmeat, which is believed to be the species’ chief concern.

3. Proboscis Monkey (

Featuring a truly distinctive face, the proboscis monkey, or long-nosed monkey, is a stunning primate that lives in mangrove forest areas in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. The proboscis monkey is best known for its spectacularly large nose, which is much more evident in males than in females.Proboscis monkeys’ large nose is believed to be an echo chamber. In fact, scientists believe that this echo chamber helps to amplify the male proboscis monkey’s call to females in order to help them attract a mate.These monkeys prefer to live in wetlands, coastal areas, swamps, and other low-lying regions where they can find their preferred food: leaves. Interestingly, proboscis monkeys have a unique multi-chambered stomach that’s specifically designed to help them digest leaves.Nevertheless, like most types of monkeys, proboscis monkeys are listed as endangered due to widespread habitat loss. They are also hunted both for food and for various body parts that are used in traditional medicines.

4. Snow Monkey (

Another highly recognizable type of monkey, snow monkeys (a.k.a. Japanese macaques) are found throughout the islands of Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu in Japan. These furry monkeys have a thick coat of tan-colored fur and pink faces with strikingly human-esque characteristics.They prefer to live in some of the coldest regions of Japan where they seek out thermal springs for warmth. Indeed, they’ll often be found gathering in groups in thermal baths that are heated by Japan’s geothermal activity.Furthermore, snow monkeys are known for being highly sociable. They live in social groups where they pass along certain behaviors, like making snowballs just for fun, from generation to generation.Thankfully, snow monkeys are one of the least threatened primate species. They are currently listed as a species of least concern and their population seems to be increasing.

5. Black Snub-Nosed Monkey (

A close cousin of the golden snub-nosed monkey, the black snub-nosed monkey is a medium-sized monkey that lives in the mountainous regions of southwestern China.Also called the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, this primate features a characteristic snub-nose and a beautiful black fur coat to help it stay warm in its mountainous habitat.These monkeys love to feed on lichens, which make up about two-thirds of its diet. This is actually quite rare among primates, but the black snub-nosed monkey has a multi-chamber-type stomach that helps it digest its food.It’s believed that the black snub-nosed monkey lives at a higher elevation than any other primate species besides humans. They are often found up to 15,000 feet (4,700 m) above sea level and they will travel to higher elevations in the winter in search of food.These days, the black snub-nosed monkey is considered to be endangered as there are believed to be fewer than 2,000 individuals in the wild. The main concern for this species is poaching and habitat loss.

6. Barbary Macaque (

Europe’s only primary species, the Barbary macaque is found throughout northern Africa and in a small, isolated part of Gibraltar on the European mainland. They are medium-sized primates with thick fur and pink faces that are known to get very habituated to humans, particularly in Gibraltar.The Barbary macaque is believed to have been introduced to Gibraltar between the years 700 and 1500 as they were kept as pets by the Moors. However, the population of the macaque in Gibraltar was completely wiped out by disease in the 1900s, so officials reintroduced them to the region from North Africa.Interestingly, the Barbary macaque is one of the few Old World monkey species that does not have a tail. Furthermore, they are highly social monkeys that like to live in troops of up to about 60 individuals.Due to the small, fragmented nature of the Barbary macaque population, it is considered to be endangered. But, the monkeys are easy enough to spot in Gibraltar, where they like to hang out by the visitor center on the Rock of Gibraltar.

7. Crab-Eating Macaque (

Contrary to their name, crab-eating macaques don’t actually eat crabs. Rather they live in parts of southeastern Asia, particularly around Indonesia and the Philippines, where they prefer to eat fruit.They have an excitable personality and a highly social disposition, though they have sometimes become pests in densely-populated human environments. However, fighting within the monkey’s social groups is common, though the crab-eating macaque has also been seen reconciling with others after a fight.The species is listed as vulnerable even though it has one of the largest ranges of any primate species. This is mostly because of habitat loss and fragmentation. Furthermore, the species has long been used in scientific research, so demand for the monkey for human purposes is quite high.

8. Common Marmoset (

Sometimes called the white-tufted-ear marmosets, the common marmoset is a small primate found mostly in Brazil. They can live in a wide range of different habitats, including in rainforests and urban locales.These monkeys prefer to eat insects, though they will also snack on tree sap, gum, resins, and the like. For the most part, common marmosets like to live in groups of around nine individuals. Their social groups can contain up to three generations of a single family, which is rare in the monkey world.Common marmosets have adorable white-tufted ears, which has made them popular as pets. However, they don’t thrive in captivity and the illegal trade of common marmosets has caused their population numbers to twindle in recent years.

9. Panamanian White-Faced Capuchin (

One of the most adorable capuchin species, the Panamanian white-faced capuchin is traditionally found throughout Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. It is often regarded as one of the most resourceful of the New World monkeys because it will often create tools and weapons for hunting and self-protection.Panamanian white-faced capuchins like to live in forested habitats, particularly wherever there are old-growth trees. They also have a prehensile tail, which helps them hang from branches and perform certain tasks.Like many other primates in their region, the Panamanian white-faced capuchin is considered to be vulnerable. Its main threats are habitat degradation and hunting, though it is often illegally trapped and sold as a pet.

10. Central American Spider Monkey (

Sometimes called the Geoffroy’s spider monkey or the black-handed spider monkey, the Central American spider monkey is a small, mostly black-colored primate that lives throughout Central America.It prefers to live in forested locales, particularly in the rainforest where it can swing from tree to tree. They like to eat fruit, though you can sometimes find them eating leaves, nuts, seeds, and even eggs.In the wild, Central American spider monkeys are listed as endangered. While they are somewhat tolerant of logging and habitat fragmentation, the widespread habitat loss in their range has caused a decline in the population.However, the main reason behind the species’ endangered status is the fact that it’s very popular in the pet trade. These monkeys have also been known to spread diseases to humans, so most experts strongly advise against keeping them as pets.

11. Pygmy Marmoset (

The world’s smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset is an adorable primate that lives throughout the rainforests of South America. Its small stature and brownish fur coat make it look a lot like a type of squirrel, but the pygmy marmoset is, indeed, a monkey!Pygmy marmosets are closely related to tamarins, which are also quite small. However, they are identified by their massive tail, which is usually longer than their bodies. While the pygmy marmoset’s tail isn’t prehensile, it does help the monkey keep its balance as it travels through the trees.For the most part, pygmy marmosets like to eat tree sap, which they collect by creating tiny holes in the trees in their native habitat. That being said, the very small size of pygmy marmosets means that they are often preyed upon by cats, like jaguars, that also roam the rainforest.The pygmy marmoset is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN, so it is one of the relatively few primates that is not endangered.

12. Northern Plains Gray Langur (

One of the eight species of gray langurs, the northern plains gray langur is a large primate that’s found throughout the forests of India. These monkeys are considered to be sacred in many local cultures, though they are currently decreasing in population due to habitat loss and fragmentation.Northern plains gray langurs prefer to live in dry and deciduous forests, but you can also find them in regions with human-dominated landscapes, like cities.Perhaps the most unique aspect of the northern plains gray langur is its large tail. These monkeys have tails that are more than one and a half times the length of their bodies, which helps them with balance when swinging through the trees.Interestingly, these monkeys are very vocal. They are known to make more than 20 different vocalizations to communicate with the rest of their troop. These monkeys will also use facial expressions to communicate, just like us humans.

13. Gee’s Golden Langur (

Featuring a handsome golden coat, the Gee’s golden langur is a beautiful monkey that lives in India and Bhutan. The Gee’s golden langur is actually one of the more recently identified species of monkey, so it’s not well studied.These monkeys tend to live in a range of habitats, including in highly forested terrain. Nevertheless, its habitat is highly fragmented, which is one of the reasons why it is listed as endangered.The Gee’s golden langur has a slim body, long limbs, and a gorgeous golden color that contrasts beautifully with its black face. Despite their distinct coloration, these monkeys are quite shy, so consider yourself lucky if you see one in the wild.

14. Bald Uakari (

An unmistakable species, the bald uakari is a large primate found in the western part of the Amazon.The bald uakari has a very long, shaggy brown coat and a prominent, bright-pink head that you can’t miss. Their forehead is large and bumpy, too, so it’s next to impossible to misidentify them.Most at home in rainforests, the bald uakari prefers to live in highly fertile regions that experience seasonal floods. As a result, they have a diet that varies seasonally. They will eat anything from fruits and leaves to roots, insects, and nuts depending on the season.Habitat loss and hunting are the main concerns for the bald uakari, which is a vulnerable species. In fact, it is likely already extinct in Colombia, which was once an important part of its range.

15. De Brazza’s Monkey (

Most at home along rivers in central Africa, the small and adorable De Brazza’s monkey is an Old World monkey that’s known for its unique coloration.The De Brazza’s monkey got its name from Pietro Savorgnan di Brazza, who was one of the original colonizers of the land that is now Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo. It has a greyish-black coat with a red tuft on its forehead and a white beard-like patterning that makes it easy to identify.These monkeys are highly territorial and they can sometimes form family groups that stay together throughout their lives.Although they are currently listed as a species of least concern, their population numbers are dropping due to hunting and habitat destruction. However, they are legally protected in Ethiopia.

16. Colombian Red Howler (

Distributed widely throughout the rainforests of South America, the Colombian red howler is one of the largest of the New World monkey species.As their name suggests, Colombian red howlers have bright red colorations, which make them relatively easy to identify in their home range. They prefer to spend most of their time in the canopy, where their prehensile tail helps them grasp branches and other objects.If it had its way, the Colombian red howler would eat only leaves. But, it will also eat fruits, flowers, nuts, and even other small animals to supplement its diet.Furthermore, despite habitat loss, the Colombian red howler is listed as a species of least concern, which bodes well for its future population growth.

17. Gelada (

One of the few non-human primates that prefers to spend its time with both feet planted firmly on the ground, the gelada is a large, Old World monkey that lives in the grasslands of the Ethiopian Highlands.As the only non-human primate to feed on grass, geladas can live in groups of up to 350 individuals that roam through the highlands. They have a distinctive brownish coloring with a large, pink, hourglass-shaped red area located firmly in the middle of their chests.Geladas are listed as a species of least concern, though they are preyed upon by hyenas, leopards, jackals, servals, and wild dogs. Furthermore, the IUCN notes that their population is decreasing due to habitat loss.

18. Emperor Tamarin (

Some of the smallest monkeys in the world, the emperor tamarin is objectively cute (in our opinion, at least!).These adorable primates have a black coat with a large, white, mustache-like tuft of fur extending from each side of their face. When combined with their small size, extra-long tail, and big brown eyes, there’s a lot to love about this cuddly-looking monkey.Emperor tamarins are found in the Amazon River Basin where they are considered to be a species of least concern. They live in the rainforest where they feed mostly on fruit, insects, tree gum, and leaves.Most emperor tamarins will live in large family groups, some of which can have up to 15 individuals. They can also live to be about 20 years old, which is impressive for such a small primate.

19. François’ Langur (

Sometimes called the Tonkin leaf monkey, the François langur is a rare species of langur found only in southwestern China and Vietnam. These monkeys feature a medium size and jet-black, silky fir. Their most distinctive feature, though, is their white sideburns which make them easy to identify.Interestingly, the François langur has a unique digestive system with four separate stomach chambers. This allows them to survive off of a diet that’s almost exclusively made up of leaves.Nevertheless, the François langur is listed as endangered. It lives almost exclusively in habitats within karst topographical landscapes, which boast limestone cliffs that the monkeys like to call home. But, habitat loss is rampant in their range, which has caused the population to dwindle to about 2,000 individuals.

20. Roloway Monkey (

Boasting a striking black and white coloration, the Roloway monkey is a large primate found in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.The Roloway monkey lives mostly in dense forests where it feeds off of various fruits, insects, seeds, and leaves. They tend to live in large troops that travel as a group through their native habitat.Unfortunately, the Roloway monkey is one of the world’s most endangered primates. It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN and its population continues to decrease. The species is already extinct in much of its range as it is not resilient in the face of widespread habitat loss.

21. East Javan Langur (

Relatively small monkeys with a funky coloration, the east Javan langur is a relatively rare primate found only on the island of Javan and its minor outlying islands.The east Javan langur has a very long tail, like other langurs. In fact, its tail is often more than twice its body length.However, the most distinctive aspect of the east Javan langur is its unique coloration. In adulthood, the monkey has a bright orange-colored coat. But, when young, the east Javan langur is almost completely black in color. Interestingly, some east Javan langurs never lose their juvenile coloration, so you can find both black and orange langurs in the wild.

22. Red-Shanked Douc (

Among the most endangered primates in the world, the stunning red-shanked douc is found only in parts of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. These monkeys have fantastically beautiful black and grey fur coats with reddish face colorations, red legs, and white, wispy fur tufts around their heads.Red-shanked docs prefer to live in tropical and subtropical forests where they can feed on leaves, fruits, bark, and flowers. Most of them will live in family groups of less than 10 individuals.Unfortunately, red-shanked doucs are listed as critically endangered. They are hunted both for bushmeat and for traditional medicine. Additionally, they are captured as part of an illegal international pet trade. Thankfully, the species is protected under law in many countries, though more work is needed to save the species from extinction.

23. Rhesus Macaque (

Traditionally found throughout southern and central Asia, the rhesus macaque is a small, tan-colored monkey with a pink face. Rhesus macaques are very resilient monkeys and they seem to be unperturbed by environmental issues and deforestation.They can be found in a range of environments, including forests, cities, mountains, and deserts. As a result, they are considered to be a species of least concern as they tend to find a way to survive in inhospitable landscapes.Rhesus macaques, while native to Asia, have been introduced elsewhere. There are now some troops of rhesus macaques that can be found in the US states and territories of Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico, where they were introduced, mostly in a failed attempt to drive tourism to those respective areas.

24. Olive Baboon (

One of the most widely-distributed primates in the world, the olive baboon can be found in more than two dozen countries in Africa. It can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, steppes, and savannahs where it lives in complex social groups.Olive baboons have brownish-grey colored coats and they walk on the ground using all four limbs. You will often see mother baboons harrying their young on their backs as they walk.Many people think that olive baboons look quite a lot like a dog, thanks to their long muzzle. They often have large rumps and curved tails, which give them a distinctive appearance.Due to their vast range, the olive baboon is considered to be a species of least concern. Since they can live in a wide variety of habitats, scientists aren’t too concerned about their population, though diseases introduced by humans may be a potential problem in the future.

25. Blue Monkey (

Distributed widely throughout eastern and central Africa, the blue monkey, or diamed, is a handsome-looking species that’s known to dwell high in the forest canopy.Despite their name, blue monkeys are not blue. Instead, they are speckled grey in color with a white tuft under their chin.These monkeys are considered to be very adaptable and there are about 16 subspecies found throughout their range. They have a very diverse diet that consists of fruit, eggs, small reptiles, and even small primates.Although they are a species of least concern, the blue monkey is threatened by habitat loss. They are also hunted both for food and for traditional medicine, as well as to stop them from damaging crops in their home range.

How Monkeys Are Classified

1. Parvorder Platyrrhini (New World Monkeys)

With so many different types of monkeys out there, classifying all of them is a challenge. Thankfully, taxonomists have done the hard work for us, so we’re here to explain how monkeys are classified to clear the air once and for all.All monkeys are classified within the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Mammalia, and order Primates. The order Primates includes two suborders, so that’s where this classification system starts to get a little tricky.The first suborder, Strepsirrhini, contains the lemurs, galagos (bush babies), and lorises, none of which are generally considered to be monkeys.Therefore, all of the monkeys are classified within the suborder Haplorhini, which contains the monkeys, apes, and the tarsiers. Below the suborder Haplorhini, there are two infraorders, Tarsiiformes (tarsiers) and Simiiformes (simians/higher primates).As tarsiers aren’t considered to be monkeys, either, we’ll focus on the infraorder Simiiformes. Within the infraorder Simiiformes, there are two parvorders, Platyrrhini (Thus, all monkeys are found in either the parvorder Platyrrhini or the parvorder Catarrhini. However, there are some important differences between the species within each of these two parvorders that are worth discussing here.So, in this next section, we’ll offer you a closer look at the complex monkey classification system within these two parvorders.

1.1 Family Callitrichidae

The family Callitrichidae includes all of the monkeys that are commonly referred to as lion tamarins, tamarins, and marmosets. There are about 7 extant genera in this family, most of whom live in the Amazon River Basin.These monkeys prefer to live in smaller groups in the upper canopies of the rainforest. Interestingly, these monkeys are one of the few primates that regularly have twins. While this can happen in other primates, it’s estimated that more than three-fourths of all Callitrichidae births are twins.

1.2 Family Cebidae

Home to the squirrel monkeys and the capuchins, the family Cebidae is native to South and Central America. Like other New World monkeys, this family prefers to live in the trees where they can find fruit and insects to feed on.There are two subfamilies and three genera within this family. However, this family was once merged with the family Callitrichidae until scientific research showed that the capuchins and squirrel monkeys were genetically distinct from tamarins, lion tamarins, and marmosets.

1.3 Family Aotidae

The family Aotidae contains just one genus,As their common name suggests, the night monkeys are active at night, thanks to their massive eyes, which provide them with great low-light vision. They usually form small social groups that they communicate with using an interesting collection of vocalizations.Unfortunately, many night monkey species are classified as threatened or endangered due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. They are also one of the few species of monkeys that can be affected by malaria.

1.4 Family Pitheciidae

One of the more unique families of New World monkeys, the family Pitheciidae contains the titis, uakaris, and saki monkeys. These species are generally found in the Amazon River Basin, particularly in Brazil.They tend to be medium- to small-sized with colorful patterning. There are more than 54 living types of monkeys in this family, making them one of the largest groups of New World monkeys.

1.5 Family Atelidae

The family Atelidae contains some of the largest New World monkey species. Within this family, you can find the spider monkeys, the woolly monkeys, the wooly spider monkeys, and the howler monkeys, all of which live in forested areas of Central and South America.Although they are generally smaller than apes and Old World monkeys, the 29 species in the family Atelidae do have fairly large bodies. The spider monkeys are the smallest of the group, though they have prehensile tails, which is unique in the primate world.

2. Parvorder Catarrhini (Old World Monkeys and Apes)

The second parvorder of monkeys, the parvorder Catarrhini, contains all of the primates called Old World monkeys as well as all of the apes. These primates are found primarily in Africa and Asia, though they are technically also found in Gibraltar, which is in Europe.While New World monkeys are characterized by their flat noses and sideways-facing nostrils, Old World monkeys have larger and more defined noses with nostrils that face downward. Furthermore, Old World monkeys, if they have tails, will never have a prehensile tail, as we see with the spider monkeys.There are two superfamilies within the parvorder Catarrhini, each of which contains a distinct collection of primate genera and species.

2.1 Superfamily Cercopithecoidea (Old World Monkeys)

The superfamily Cercopithecoidea contains all of what we call the Old World monkeys. As we’ve mentioned, these monkeys have distinct nose structures which help to differentiate them from New World monkeys. They also live only in Asia, Africa, and Europe, so the geographic differences make them easier to distinguish from their New World counterparts.Within the superfamily Cercopithecoidea, there are 24 genera and 138 recognized species. This makes them one of the largest primate families. In fact, this superfamily contains the baboons, talapoins, mandrills, proboscis monkeys, and the macaques, all of which are quite large when compared to New World monkeys.

General Monkey Biology

Although this superfamily is home to the apes, which are not technically monkeys, the superfamily Hominoidea is well worth a mention here. This superfamily contains the gibbons and the great apes, all of which are tailless primates.Within the superfamily Hominoidea, there are two families. These include:

Habitat & Distribution

Monkeys are native to Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, and parts of Mexico. They were also introduced to Europe by the Moors during the Middle Ages, though the only current European population of monkeys lives in Gibraltar. Furthermore, monkeys were also introduced to parts of the United States, though these are highly isolated populations.Monkeys are, as a group, very adaptable to a wide range of environments. They can live anywhere from the rainforest to the mountains. Additionally, many monkeys will live in urban areas where they quickly become habituated to humans.

Social Behavior

Most monkeys exhibit complex social behavior. They usually live in groups, called troops, which can vary from a small family group to a collection of many hundreds of individuals.Like humans, most monkeys are very communicative. Depending on the species, they may communicate through sounds, facial expressions, and pheromones. They will also fight with each other, particularly over mates, but some monkeys have also been seen reconciling with others after a fight.

Diet & Eating Habits

Monkey diets vary widely depending on the species. Most monkeys will eat either fruit, nuts, seeds, tree sap and gum, or leaves. But, some species are more omnivorous and will eat insects, eggs, and even small animals. Others, like geladas, only eat grass. So, there’s a great variety in monkey eating habits.

Conservation Status

Monkeys and humans have a long history of both successful coexistence and conflict. Many cultures view certain species as sacred, while, in others, monkeys are hunted for food or for traditional medicine.That being said, it is impossible to say that all monkeys are threatened or endangered. While approximately half of all monkey species are listed as at least threatened, many more are species of least concern.The majority of species that are at risk of extinction are listed as such due to the effects of habitat loss, human conflict, hunting, or trapping for the international pet trade. However, some countries have instituted protections for vulnerable and endangered species to combat this issue.

Monkey Fun Facts

Want to impress your friends with your monkey knowledge? Here are some great fun facts about monkeys that are great to have on hand:

1|Howler Monkeys Are Very Loud

With a name like “howler monkey,” it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these primates are very loud. Just how loud are howler monkeys, you might ask? Well, it turns out that their screeches can be heard from up to 3 miles (4.8 km) away in the forest!

2|Old World Monkeys Have Cheek Pouches

Have you ever had a meal that you loved so much that you wished you could save some for later? If only you were an Old world monkey. In fact, many Old World monkeys, like macaques, have cheek pouches that can be used to store food until a later meal. Who knew?

3|The Majority Of Monkeys Live In Tropical Forests

Although you can find monkeys in a variety of different habitats around the world, the majority of these primates live in tropical rainforests. There are only a few species, such as geladas, and snow monkeys, that prefer to live in grasslands or montane environments. Meanwhile, most are much more comfortable in the rainforest.

Monkey FAQs

Here are answers to some of your most common questions about monkeys:

Can Monkeys Hurt You?

When provoked or scared, monkeys can, indeed, hurt humans. Monkeys have been known to seriously injure humans, often while they are kept in captivity. Additionally, monkeys in the wild that have become very habituated to humans, such as those that like to hang around temples and tourist sites, can bite humans in search of food.Therefore, while most monkeys generally don’t want anything to do with humans, it’s best to keep your distance from them, just in case.

What’s The Most Dangerous Monkey In the World?

While it’s hard to quantify precisely which species is the most dangerous, many people regard baboons and mandrills as particularly violent toward humans. However, the majority of monkey species are not interested in attacking humans so long as we stay far enough away.

What Animals Are Monkeys Afraid Of?

Monkeys, like humans, are very intelligent creatures. So, they don’t tend to run away from a situation for no reason. But, one study on animal behavior did find that rhesus monkeys are afraid of snakes, a fear that appears to be quite common in the primate world.

Can You Have A Monkey As A Pet?

While people have kept monkeys as pets over the millennia, it’s not a good idea. Monkeys are, for the most part, highly sociable creatures, so keeping them in captivity can be very stressful for them. Furthermore, monkeys are very difficult to care for and they can be violent when kept in captivity for too long.Finally, many countries and local governments do not allow monkeys to be kept as pets. So, even though they look cute and cuddly, keeping a monkey as a pet generally isn’t a great choice.