A Guide to Types of Monkeys
Many types of monkeys can be found throughout the world. Monkeys originated in tropical and subtropical areas, such as Africa, Asia, Central and South America. They are classified in the same scientific order as apes and human beings. All the various types of monkeys fall into one of two categories, Old World Monkeys or New World Monkeys.
Old World monkeys can be recognized by the fact that they have nostrils which are close to one another and point toward the ground. New World Monkeys, on the other hand, have very flat-looking noses and nostrils which are far apart. New World monkeys can grasp and hang by their tails and Old World monkeys cannot.
The Old World monkeys are once again divided into two groups. The first group includes types of monkeys, such as baboons, mandrills, macaques, guenons, drills, and mangabeys. Mandrills and baboons are only found in Africa. Macaques are found in Asia. The other group of Old World monkeys includes the proboscis monkeys of Borneo, the langurs, another Asian variety, and the colobus monkeys, which live in Africa.
Just to note a few facts about some of the Old World types of monkeys: the hanuman monkey is considered in India to be sacred. Langurs are very, very large with long tails. Proboscis monkeys have long noses–some as long as three inches. The guereza monkey had very beautiful fur, which was used to trim the dresses of ladies and even the ceremonial garbs of African chiefs. The lion-tailed macaque monkey really did get its name because the tuft on the end of his tail looks like that of a lion. You can find them in southern India.
The fastest of all the Old World monkeys is the patas monkey of Central Africa. This monkey can run up to 35 mph. This ability comes in handy when they are being pursued by predators, such as hyenas and jackals. Another interesting monkey is the colobus. These monkeys are not known for running fast but for leaping very high in the air. This monkey lives in trees and can leap from one tree to another, up to twenty feet. While he does not grasp with his tail like a New World monkey, the colobus uses its tail to maintain its balance on these very long leaps. Some of the colobus monkeys are in danger of becoming extinct.
Many preserves have been made to protect endangered species of Old World monkeys but a lot more needs to be done to guarantee their future. Old World monkeys are still killed by poachers, losing their habitat to human development, and being captured and sold as part of the illegal pet market.
As for the types of monkeys known as New World monkeys, these are tree dwellers and they have a tail that can grip branches, which is known as a prehensile tail. Many of the best-known monkeys are New World monkeys. This includes spider monkeys, the capuchins, the howling monkey, squirrel monkeys and sakis. Spider and squirrel monkeys are the loudest of all monkeys and never stop squealing.
When it comes to endangered species, the New World monkeys are not faring any better than the Old World monkeys, even though they have not been in existence for as long a time. On the other hand, there are also New World monkeys that have not even been discovered yet and named by scientists. It’s hard to learn about New World monkeys because they do live very high up in trees and are not easy to reach.
All of the different types of monkeys vary greatly in facial features and fur colors as well as size. The pigmy marmosets are the smallest monkey with a body no more than six-inches long with an almost equal-size tail. The largest monkey of all is the male baboon who can weigh up to 165 pounds.