monkeys in uganda

Monkeys: Facts about the largest group of primates

Monkeys are a large and diverse mammal group that includes most primates. Humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and other apes share an ancestor with monkeys but belong to a separate group of primates that  diverged from monkeys millions of years ago. Monkeys are typically smaller than apes and usually have tails, which apes lack. The monkey group doesn’t include lemurs, which are another branch of the primate family tree and live in Madagascar.

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There are a variety of monkeys, spread across the world, with very different lifestyles. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors, but they are all intelligent and social creatures. BBC

Monkeys are broadly split into two groups: Old World monkeys and New World monkeys. Old World monkeys live in Asia and Africa and have downward-pointing nostrils, according to Nature Education(opens in new tab). New World monkeys live in North and South America and have outward-pointing nostrils. 

Monkeys vary significantly in appearance. For example, proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) from the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia are known for males’ big noses. A 2018 study published in the journal Science Advances(opens in new tab) found that they use their noses to attract female mates, which prefer longer noses. Their large noses also enhance their vocalizations. Proboscis monkeys have red faces and potbellies. Their looks contrast sharply with those of some other species, such as black and brown spider monkeys, which are long and slender with small noses. 

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