Monkey Facts

Monkeys are a favorite animal for many as they are very expressive and often act just like people. There are over 264 species of monkeys around the world and each one has their own unique features and abilities.

Interesting facts about monkeys:

Monkeys are divided into two subgroups: Old World monkeys that can be found and live in Asian and Africa and New World Monkeys that are in South America. Apes are not considered to be monkeys, although monkeys and apes are considered to share the simian primate group.



Most Old World monkeys have curved, small nostrils that are set quite close together however, New World monkeys have rounded nostrils that are far apart and their noses are flat. There are 96 Old World Monkey species and 81 New World monkey species, although there are more New World species that are being discovered.

  • Monkeys can be identified easily as they all have tails.
  • Most monkeys run across branches, although there are some species that do swing in trees arm-to-arm.
  • Monkeys communicate through a variety of sound vocalizations, body movements and facial expressions.



In the world of monkeys, pulling the lip or grinning is a sign of aggression. Other signs of aggression can include head bobbing, yawning and jerking the shoulders and head forward.

  • Monkeys are very social, living in groups called a ‘troop’ and they express affection and bonding through the grooming process.
  • The habitats of monkeys can include grasslands, high plains, tress and forests. However, they are quickly losing the places where they can live as it is disappearing due to human invasion.



The largest monkey is the male Mandrill which is about 3.3 ft. (1 meter) long and can weigh in at nearing 77 lbs. (35 kg). The smallest monkey is the Pygmy Marmoset which measures 4-4 ½ inches (117-159 mm) in length and weighs only 3-5 oz. (85-140 grams).

  • Monkeys can carry diseases that can threaten human life.
  • Monkeys will eat plants and animals and there are some monkeys that actually eat dirt.

Monkeys can hold and grasp things with both their fingers and toes and they are known for peeling their bananas and tossing the skins aside.