Monkey Facts, Types, Lifespan, Classification, Habitat, Pictures (2024)

Monkeys are tree-dwelling animals known for their high level of intelligence as they belong to the order of primates.Though they are mostly arboreal, some dwell on land in the savannas and mountainous regions, the baboon being a primary example. The Old World and New World monkeys are primarily distinguished based on their physical features, particularly the structure of their nose.

Scientific Classification


Scientific Classification


Listof Common Types of MonkeySpecies

There are about 24 genera and 138 species of the Old World monkeys, while the New World monkeys possess 19 genera and 100 species categorized into four families.The Old World monkeys are named so since they inhabit the Old World, comprising of the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia. The New World species are the ones native to North and South America.

  • Chacma Baboon
  • Common Marmoset
  • Common Squirrel Monkey
  • Cotton-top Tamarin
  • Crab-eating Macaque
  • De Brazza’s Monkey
  • Drill
  • Dusky Leaf Monkey
  • Formosan Rock Macaque
  • Francois’ Leaf Monkey
  • Gelada
  • Vervet
  • Mandrill
  • Gibbon
  • Golden Monkey
  • Allen’s Swamp Monkey
  • Black Howler
  • Black Lion Tamarin
  • Black Snub-nosed Monkey
  • Black-and-white Colobuses
  • Black-handed Spider Monkey
  • Blue Monkey
  • Brown-mantled Tamarin
  • Celebes Crested Macaque
  • Central American Squirrel Monkey
  • Golden snub-nosed monkey
  • Green Monkey
  • Grivet
  • Guenon
  • Guinea Baboon
  • Kipunji
  • Mantled Guereza
  • Mantled Howler
  • Northern Plains Gray Langur
  • Olive Baboon
  • Proboscis Monkey
  • Pygmy Marmoset
  • Red-faced Spider Monkey
  • Red-shanked Douc
  • Rhesus Mmacaque
  • Silvery Lutung
  • Sooty Mangabey
  • Southern Pig-tailed Macaque
  • Stump-tailed Macaque
  • Tufted Capuchin
  • Venezuelan Red Howler
  • White-faced Saki
  • Yellow Baboon
  • Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey

Appearance and Physical Description

Size: The smallest species of monkeys are 6 inches long, while the bigger ones can have lengths of up to 36 inches.

Weight: Theaverage weight of monkeys vary between 4 ounces and 77 pounds.

Color: Thoughbrown and gray are the most standard colors, other shades include red, golden,and white individually or in combination.

Nose: The OldWorld monkeys have narrow noses with side-facing nostrils, while thosebelonging to the New World are flat-nosed.

Tail: The tailsof the New World monkeys are long and grasping (prehensile), helping them toget a grip on objects, while the Old World species have short, non-graspingtails. There are also tailless monkeys like the Barbary macaques.

Legs: They havetwo legs like humans but cannot walk solely on them. Instead, they take the supportof their big, black palm.


They exist throughout the continents of Africa, Asia, South America, and CentralAmerica.


As mentioned above, most of them live on trees, while thereare also some ground-dwelling monkeys.

HowLong Do They Live

In the wild, monkeys live between 10 and 50 years on an average, whereas in captivity their lifespan could be longer. Bueno, a black spider monkey who passed away in 2005, lived till the age of

What Do They Eat

Their diet mainly comprises of nuts, seeds, fruits like bananas,roots, and grass. Some monkeys are omnivores, as they also eat lizards, spiders,and insects


  • These primates express their emotions and needs through various sounds like clicking, chattering, and yelling at a high pitch.
  • Another characteristic feature is that they display a strong fellow feeling. They help their mates by ensuring protection, sharing food, and caring for the little ones of other monkeys.
  • They often indulge in grooming one another by taking off debris and fur from the body of their fellow mates.


  • The long, prehensile tails help them to hang with ease from branches as well as get a firm grip on objects.
  • Their sharp molars help them to chew leaves with ease.
  • The skin around the genital areas of the females become swollen, turning bright red or pink during hormonal changes to indicate to the males that they are ready for mating.
  • Most of the Old World monkeys possess cheek pouches helping them to store food that they may eat later.
  • They have prominent olfactory receptors, which makes their smelling ability stronger, helping them to sense a threat with ease,

Reproductionand Mating

They mature at the age of 4 or 5, with only a few of them mating in the first half of their life. Certain species are known to wash with urine to appear attractive to females. The babies are born after 160 days post-mating, and the mother shares an instant close bond with her young one. The life cycle of a monkey is similar to humans as it starts with gestation, proceeding to babyhood and finally, adulthood.

WhatDo The Baby Monkeys Look Like

The baby monkeys have black furs at birth, the color ofwhich changes in three months, though this may vary from one species to theother.


Some of them are endangered, or even at risk of extinction, with certain species having a population of only 1,000 in the wild. The Tana River Red Colobus and the Tonkin Snub-Nosed belong to list of the 25 most endangered primates. The Hainan Black-crested Gibbon is critically endangered since only about 20 of them are left. Conservation efforts to keep a check on their population include protecting trees in their habitat range, as well as increasing awareness among people.


1. What is a group ofmonkeys called?

At roop, cartload, barrel, carload, tribe

2. What is a babymonkey called?

An infant

3. What is the callof a monkey?

They chatter, screech, whoop, and gibber

  • Video

    4. Can monkeys swim?

    Some species like the proboscis monkeys, macaques, and snowmonkeys, possess the ability to swim.

    5. Where do monkeys originallycome from?

    It has been a topic of debate, with the common belief being that they belonged to Africa according to fossil evidence traced in Egypt. Recent studies, however, suggest Asia as their place of origin. The Proconsul is the first monkey genus to exist in the world.


    • They are all adept at using their hands efficiently just like humans, with the bearded capuchin probably being better than the rest. Hence, these monkeys have been trained to assist disabled people in performing chores, like turning pages of books and operating switches.
    • Monkeys are the ninth of the twelve Chinese zodiacs.
    • They hold a special significance in several religions like Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In Hindu culture, people worship them as a deity.
    • The extinct genus of Proconsul was the first monkeys to have existed in the world.
    • Albert II was the first monkey to travel to space in the V-2 rocket launched on the 14th of June, 1949 by the U.S.
    • Several literary works like Curious George, Babiole, Nkima, and Hanuma have included the monkey as one of the main protagonists.
    • Their typical trait of stealing human food created agony among the residents of Chachoengsao, a province of Thailand, in 2013. They ransacked homes of people, taking away sugar, cooking oil, and even medicines.
    Monkey Facts, Types, Lifespan, Classification, Habitat, Pictures (2024)


    What type of habitat do monkeys live in? ›

    Old World monkeys are found in Africa and parts of Asia. New World monkeys are found in the tropical regions of Central and South America. Most monkeys live mainly in trees in rainforests. Baboons and some other kinds live mostly on the ground in grasslands or rocky areas.

    What are some facts about monkeys lifespan? ›

    Growth and longevity

    Although humans are the longest-lived members of the order, the potential life span of the chimpanzee has been estimated at 60 years, and orangutans occasionally achieve this in captivity. The life span of a lemur, on the other hand, is about 15 years and a monkey's 25–30 years.

    What are the habits of monkeys? ›

    No matter what type or which world these monkeys belong to, they always live in groups and have good social behaviour. In many groups, females are in large numbers compared to males. In non-group, males usually live alone or in groups. Male monkeys usually have the majority control over the group.

    What do monkeys eat in their habitat? ›

    In the wild, rhesus monkeys thrive on fruits, seeds, roots, herbs and insects. In captivity, monkeys primarily eat monkey chow, and an array of fresh, seasonal fruit, vegetables and nuts once to twice a week to provide them with variety and to supplement their diet (photo below).

    Can monkeys live 100 years? ›

    The lifespan of a monkey is 10 to 50 years, depending on the species. Monkeys living in the wild have shorter lifespans due to disease and other factors.

    What type of monkey lives the longest? ›

    Compared to other primates, capuchin monkeys and humans have the longest lifespan as predicted for their brain and body sizes [0778].

    What monkey lives 50 years? ›

    Chimpanzees and orangutans, for example, can live between 50 and 55 years in the wild, according to a study published in 2012, and even longer in captivity.

    How are monkeys classified? ›

    Old World monkeys all belong to one family, Cercopithecidae, which is related to apes and humans, and together they are classified as catarrhines (meaning “downward-nosed” in Latin). The New World monkeys are the platyrrhines (“flat-nosed”), a group comprising five families.

    What monkey has 6 fingers? ›

    My colleagues and I recently found yet another unique specialisation that sets the aye-aye apart from other primates: a sixth finger on each hand. Previously undocumented, this tiny extra digit - called a “pseudothumb” - is a structure on each wrist made of bone and cartilage.

    Do monkeys have 4 legs or 2? ›

    Answer and Explanation: Monkeys have two legs and two arms. However, this doesn't mean they can walk on two legs for any length of time. On the ground, monkeys use their arms like another set of legs, walking on the knuckles.

    What is a monkey facts about habitat? ›

    They mostly live in the jungles of Central & South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. However there are a few unique species that live in temperate areas, where there are warm summers, but winters can become very cold – even snowy! Most primates are found living near the equator.

    Are monkeys 98% human? ›

    Humans and chimps share a surprising 98.8 percent of their DNA. How can we be so similar--and yet so different?

    What is the monkey habitat in Africa? ›

    Some monkeys live in human settlements, including cities. Among Africa's nonhuman primate species, some live solely in trees, some primarily in trees, some along river and mangrove banks, and some live on the ground.

    Do monkeys live in the tropical? ›

    No wonder so many monkeys live in the Amazon; it is a tropical, yet humid, paradise. Monkeys that call the Amazon Rainforest home can be referred to us “rainforest monkeys.” Monkey species that are native to rainforests include howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, tamarins and marmosets.

    Do monkeys live in hot or cold places? ›

    Most primates live in warm tropical or subtropical climates, but these macaques are adapted to living in the cold. Not surprisingly, they're also known as snow monkeys. Winter in the Japanese Alps is harsh and snow covers the ground for a third of the year.

    Where did monkeys used to live? ›

    By 40 million years ago, evidence indicates that monkeys were present in the New World (South America) and the Old World (Africa and Asia). New World monkeys are also called Platyrrhini—a reference to their broad noses (Figure 1). Old World monkeys are called Catarrhini—a reference to their narrow noses.

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