Monkey: The Close Cousin of Humans

When you imagine a monkey, what usually comes into your mind! I think nothing but an ambiguous face and a tree-dwelling mammal. Monkeys are cute yet highly clever animals in the world and they are distinguished into diverse species according to their size, color, and characteristics. They come under Kingdom Animalia, Class Mammalia, and Order Primates.

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There are many facts about monkeys that you will find interesting to know. Here are some of the crucial facts of the monkeys that you need to know.

The most social animals are prevalent as caregivers and gesturing humanistic movements as well. They are famous favorite animals because of their expressions and tomfooleries. There are more than 264 monkey species across the world and different from each other owing to their features and competences.

Anatomy of Monkeys

Monkeys are long-tailed animals in the groups of primates that include baboons, guenons, marmosets, and macaques. They feature a well-designed body for better agility and quite flexible in numerous endeavors. Somehow, they are analogous to human and feature unique fingerprints and long legs as well as arms for climbing over trees without difficulty.

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Furthermore, they have opposable thumbs on both their hands and feet for better convenience. Monkeys feature forward faced eyes with good vision and that looks quite similar to human eyes and sees black and white colors. On the other hand, some monkey species distinguish other colors as well.

They have flat noses along with narrower nostrils and it is so powerful that they can recognize each other by smelling and suspect possible dangers. On the other hand, the ear of monkeys is smaller or bigger according to the type and offers them an excellent hearing ability.

The tail is the most significant part of monkeys that differentiates them from apes and it is quite crucial for offering the balance and help in leaping vertically on trees. You will find all the monkeys with fair all over the body and a highly developed brain as well as teeth just like humans.

They are different in size and body shape. The average length of monkeys is 50 to 60 cm along with their tails and weighs around 4 to 5 ounces. The smallest monkey in the world is Pygmy Marmoset that is only 5 inches long and weighs 4 ounces whereas Mandrill is the largest monkey that is 3 feet tall and weighs 77 lbs.

Types of Monkeys

Mainly you will find two monkey types that are Old World monkeys and New World monkeys. Mostly you will find the Old World monkeys in Asia and Africa whereas the New World monkeys are available in South America.

There is a total of 160 Old world monkey species and 174 new world monkey species all over the world. The former features of all of them are they curved nose and small nostrils, whereas the latter comes with a flat nose and rounded nostrils.

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An old-World monkey is a bigger in size and mostly resides in trees and land. They feature narrowed and downward nostrils. Baboons, Snow monkeys, and Macaques come under the Old-World monkeys’ category. On the other hand, Marmosets and Callimicos are the New-World monkeys who reside only in the trees. They feature sharp yet longer nails for protection and wider nostrils for better sensing.

The New-World monkeys can identify different colors as well other than black and white but the Old-World monkeys can only see black and white. In terms of diet, the New World monkeys depend mostly on fruits whereas the Old-World monkeys eat grass and tree leaves.

Furthermore, both are different from each other in terms of caring for their infants. The New-World monkeys, especially, the male monkeys mostly take care of their infants but for Old-World monkeys, this prospect is completely different. Infant care is the responsibility of females of Old-World Monkeys only.

Old-World Monkeys

The Old-World Monkeys are primarily a group of primates and a member of superfamily Cercopithecoidea. They are different from apes and new world monkeys in terms of a tail. They mainly reside in tropical rainforests and plain. You can find them in heavy snow areas. Old-World monkeys are the native animals of Asia and Africa. Macaques and Baboons are an example of Old-World monkeys.

Baboon

A Baboon possesses 91 percent identical DNA with us. There are five species of baboons all over the world and they are the largest primates.

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They usually weigh in between 30 to 90 lbs depending upon the size and 20 to 40 inches long along with a substantial tail. They call Africa and Asia as their home and you will find them in some part of Arabia as well. Baboons are also the largest monkeys in the world and prefer tropical forests to live. However, they are versatile and can stay inland and other harsh environments as well.

Macaques

You will find Macaques all around Asia, Southern Europe, and North Africa. There are 22 Macaque Monkey species that are divided into two categories such as rhesus macaque and cynomolgus macaque. The Cynomolgus macaque is also known as long-tailed macaques and there are ten sub-species of these monkeys.

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They are the most active monkeys who feature identical length of arms and legs, brown or black fur, and dog-like noses along with upward nostrils. They are the second-largest non-human primate distribution and habitats of Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Philippines, Nicobar, and Bangladesh as well.

New-World Monkeys

The New-World monkeys can be divided into Cebidae, Atelidae, Aotidae, and Pitheciidae. They come under subfamilies of Primates. The scientific name of New-World Monkeys is Platyrrhini and they feature flat nose and side-facing nostrils. They also feature long prehensile tails and mostly arboreal. Marmoset and tamarin are the most popular new-world monkeys and they live mainly in forests in the area of South and Central America and Southern Mexico.

Marmoset Monkeys

The Marmosets are the small monkeys who can fit comfortably in a human hand and there are more than 20 species of Marmosets across the world. They prefer staying in treetops and make you feel like squirrels because of their activities. The Pygmy Marmoset is the smallest animal in the category of Marmosets and Monkeys as well.

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They reside in the rainforests, alongside the Amazon River and Atlantic coastline as well. This type of monkey likes to stay active and goes here and there in the daytime. You can find them in small troops that consist of 15 or more monkeys moving around trees. They come with a lifespan of five to sixteen years.

Tamarin Monkeys

The Tamarins come under the family Callitrichidae and one of the crucial habitats of open as well as rain forests. They are efficient in jumping through the trees and tend to move in daylight. The tamarins mostly stay in a troop of 40 members and look out for food. They are omnivores and prefer eating plant fragments, fruits, small vertebrates, and insects as well.

tamarin

Biological Significance of monkeys

Monkeys are the most playful animals who swing around the branches while offering odd gestures. They are mischievous in any condition and their behaviors are similar to humans. A monkey can bestow affection, annoyance, pleasure and even grief.

If you think what do monkeys eat? Then for your kind information they just not eat only leaves or bananas. Monkeys are omnivores, so they can eat both plant foods like nuts, fruits, and seeds as well as meat. Furthermore, some monkeys eat insects and spiders as well.

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If you are curious enough to ask where do monkeys live? Then primarily they reside in trees, grasslands, and mountains as well, they are not fond of staying in a permanent place and for finding food, they are always on the move. They move in groups and it is known as tribes or troops. Monkeys are social animals and like to cuddle and spend time happily with each other.

According to research, a male monkey with strong power and a large body lead the troop of monkeys. The leader usually mates with the other female monkeys in the tribe and fight for the right of the group.

The pregnancy period of monkeys lasts for 164 days depending upon the species. Right after the birth the mother takes the infant on her back and gets care from the parents in case of monogamous or only by mother. Right after birth, the infant is completely dependent on its mother. However, in the case of New-World monkeys, it is the responsibility of the father to take care of the infant. The mother monkey is only responsible for nursing.

The gestation in the Old-World monkeys usually continues for five to seven months. They give birth to single or even twins just like humans. The newborn with the caring from its mother takes six years to reach adolescence.

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As we said most of the monkeys, run through the branches, but few monkeys like to swing using their arms and known as arboreal. They are quite good at communicating through facial terms, sounds and body movements. There is a species of monkeys known as Howler Monkey. They scream so loud that you can hear the same up to a distance of 10 miles.

Monkeys are mostly located in Africa, Japan, Central Asia and India that are the natural yet suitable habitats. Current times they are also present in South America, Central America as well as Mexico. Hence, we can say monkeys can survive in diverse conditions and habitats.

They usually move around in a tribe that features mostly 12 members and search out for food. They are vulnerable to different diseases but free from a common cold. Monkeys usually yawn when feeling tired and grin in case of aggression. When you try to disturb, they will show you a strong sign of yawning, moving head and jerking their shoulders.

Cultural Significance of Monkeys

Monkeys are part of our popular culture since ages and primarily they are a part of Hinduism and Buddhism. However, true regardless of religion and traditional values, the monkeys are the prime force of wit and entertainment. If we talk about culture then in China monkeys are recognized as the source of power and smartness. Then even pray monkeys for becoming parents. They are a crucial part of Chinese culture and the monkey is the ninth animal in the Chinese Zodiac signs.

On the other hand, the Indians pray monkeys as the illustrative of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. The Hindus have a lot of faith in it and worship the monkeys, offer eatable to them irrespective of the place and situation.

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Finally yet importantly, they are also a great medium of entertainment and the most loved animal in any zoo. People watch and try to interact with them for hours. Watching the monkeys is quite fascinating and fun as well because of their spontaneous actions and confused expressions.

On the other hand, although it is illegal to pet a monkey in most of the world, still some people treat the monkeys as domestic animals or else keep them for the medium of entertainment and source of income as well. However, remember you should take care of some crucial points before domesticating the animal.

Although monkeys are cute, they can also be aggressive sometimes. They do not like to remain inside a cage and tend to show strength and aggression according to the situation. Last but not least, they need free and extra spaces for jumping and swinging. Moreover, keeping a monkey is truly a life-long commitment so you have to be well prepared.

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If you are allowed then you can keep small monkey breeds like common Marmosets, Pigmy marmosets or Squirrel monkeys. However, you need to have proper attention and keep them in two, as they like to socialize and groom in a group or at least as a couple.

People use monkeys to showcase their talent and wits in exchange for money in various parts of India. Therefore, Monkeys are a great medium of income source and lifeline of people. Hence, we can say they are a crucial part of our society because of their cleverness, intelligence, and mischievous behavior.

Things to Know about Monkeys

Monkeys are mischievous! Let us have some more information on the best social animal and read on to enjoy some interesting facts about monkeys.

  • The word monkey is supposed to relate to the word Manneken, a Dutch word, and comes from a medieval beast story.
  • Undoubtedly, monkeys are the most social and smart animals.
  • Monkeys have a lifespan in between 10 to 50 years
  • The leader grooms the members for socializing and surviving.
  • The New World monkeys features prehensile tails that are not available in Old-World monkeys.
  • They can eat plants as well as animals and even dirt, they are classified as omnivorous
  • Mandrill comes under monkey species, features fangs that are lengthier than the lion’s fangs.
  • Spider monkey comes under New-World monkey category and features the longest tail
  • The Howler monkey is the loudest animal in the world.
  • According to research, among all the animals in the world monkeys, usually transmits most of the life-threatening diseases for human.
  • They are capable of holding food and peeling off bananas effectively.
  • Monkeys are usually impulsive and fun to watch even quite curious to learn new things.
  • In many parts of the world, keeping a monkey is illegal but if trained properly they are known as the most trusted pet and give you ample companionship.
  • According to the category, Cercopithecoid monkeys are differentiated into Old World and New World.
  • Apes and monkeys are not the same, the tail distinguishes them, the apes do not have the tails.
  • Female monkeys are quite serious about the food, they do not even allow matting in case there is the unavailability of food.
  • Usually, a mother monkey gives birth in two years.
  • The Probosci monkeys like to eat unripe fruits only to avoid sugar which causes stomach bloating
  • Monkeys are capable of comprehending numbers and according to research, they can even grasp the basic arithmetic as well.
  • Monkeys can transmit diseases such as Monkey pox, yellow fever, and Ebola Reston.
  • The tail of monkeys works similarly to human fingertips and touch-sensitive.
  • By removing bugs and clearing dirt, monkeys not only show us the togetherness but also guide us for personal hygiene and grooming.

Common marmosets can give birth to non-identical twins, which is an unusual trait for primates. Marmosets are often used for research on human aging and disease because their bodies are very close to those of humans.

Wrapping Up

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One cannot ignore the fact that monkeys are our close cousins and they share many similarities with us. For this reason, it is essential to be familiar with facts about the strange yet fuzzy-looking animal. They are endearing, playful yet sharp-witted. Hence, be cautious and explore more about them.

Also see : Camel: The Ship of the desert

Also see : WOW! Didn’t know all that about Crested Gecko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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