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


Types of Monkeys
Types of Monkeys

List of  Common Types of Monkey Species

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: The average weight of monkeys vary between 4 ounces and 77 pounds.

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

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

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

Legs: They have two legs like humans but cannot walk solely on them. Instead, they take the support of their big, black palm.

Monkey Hands


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


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

Monkey Habitat

How Long 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

Monkey Images

Behavioral Traits

  • 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.
Monkey Picture


  • 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,

Reproduction and 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.

What Do The Baby Monkeys Look Like

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

Baby Monkey


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 of monkeys called?

At roop, cartload, barrel, carload, tribe

2. What is a baby monkey called?

An infant

3. What is the call of a monkey?

They chatter, screech, whoop, and gibber

4. Can monkeys swim?

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

5. Where do monkeys originally come 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.

Tailless Monkey

Interesting  Facts

  • 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.