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Types Of Monkeys

Updated on October 22, 2011

Monkeys belong to the category of primates, the same category of mammals where apes and humans are also placed.

Monkeys are highly intelligent mammals, having some features which resemble humans and humans are believed to have evolved from them.

These are nearly 264 known species of monkeys on Earth. They are diverse Animals and are found in nearly all parts of the world.

There are two major categories of monkeys:

  • Old world monkeys
  • New world monkeys

The old world monkeys are included in the family cercopithecoid whereas the new world monkeys are included in the family platyrrhini.

A common misconception is that apes are mostly considered to be monkeys, no matter how much they resemble, apes are of one category and monkeys are of another.

Some common old world monkeys are: baboons, macaques, mandrills, colobus and langurs.

While some common new world monkeys are marmosets, owl monkeys, spider monkeys, douroucoulis, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and wooly monkeys.

The old world monkeys are larger than the new world monkeys and they also have thicker furs as compared to the new world monkeys.

New world monkeys are, however more diverse.

Mandrill Monkey
Mandrill Monkey

Mandrill Monkey

The word mandrill it self means man-ape hence the word itself describes that these are large monkeys; in fact they are the largest monkeys of the world.

The mandrills are old world monkeys and are related to baboons, another category of old world monkeys which are discussed below.

They are recognized by their olive colored fur, colored rump and colored faces.

They are also famous for the fact that the color of their rump becomes more pronounced when the monkey is excited.

Mandrills are most commonly found in the tropical rainforests such as the woodlands of Gabon, Cameroon, Guinea and Congo.

Drill Monkey
Drill Monkey
Spider Monkey
Spider Monkey
Squirrel Monkey
Squirrel Monkey


Baboons are very famous old world monkeys.

They have a thick grey fur, a long muzzle resembling to that of dogs and like the mandrills a colored rump but unlike mandrills, a plain grey face.

The baboons have strong jaws and teeth and their muzzle is the only part of their body, apart from their rump, which is not covered with thick fur.

Baboons like to live in open savannahs and woodlands and are mostly found in Africa. They mostly feed on vegetables but can be called as omnivores as they also consume insects.

Drill Monkeys

Drill monkeys are another old world monkeys resembling to baboons and mandrills. Their fur is similar to mandrills but they do not have a colored face, however they too possess a colored rump.

Drills are endangered monkeys as they belong to forests of Africa, many of which are being deforested. Their home land is Nigeria, South Western Cameroon and Guinea.

The males of drills are three times larger than the females. They are mostly found in the lower part of the forest and feed on fruits.

Spider Monkey

Spider monkeys are new world monkeys which are also called trapeze monkeys.

These monkeys are famous for the fact that they spend majority of their time swinging from trees to trees.

By appearance these monkeys are quite small and are hardly 2-3 feet.

Their weight is also very less. They have tails longer as compared to their bodies and have a grey fur.

They are found in the jungles of Mexico, Columbia and Central America.

They are omnivores and feed on fruits, insects and bird eggs. They mostly live in groups of 30.

Howler Monkeys

Howler monkeys are new world monkeys and are perhaps the laziest monkeys in the world.

They are larger as compared to other new world monkeys hence are called the largest new world monkeys.

They dwell in the top trees of forests of Eastern Africa.

They are born white but as they grow old they turn black in color. They have a round face with wide nostrils and have short snouts

They hardly leave their dwelling homes and spend most their time resting hence called the laziest monkeys.

Squirrel Monkeys

Squirrel monkeys are famous new world monkeys found Central and South America.

They are colorful monkeys with short close fur.

Their backs are bright yellow while their shoulders are olive colored and their face is black and white.

The face is hair less however their head possesses a tuft of hair at the top.

They are omnivores and are found in the canopy of forests.


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