Types Of Monkey With Pictures And Facts – The Different Monkey Groups & Well-Known Monkey Species

A overview of the various monkey species and groups, with photographs and information. Explore the most monkey species, from the largest to the tiniest…

Types Of Monkey

Monkeys are now found in approximately 267 different species. Old world monkeys and new world monkeys are the two kinds of monkey that exist.

Old world monkeys are divided into one family, whereas new world monkeys are split into five families.

The two kinds of monkey (old world monkeys and new world monkeys) are discussed in detail on this page, as well as pictures and facts about a number of notable species from both groups.

What Is A Monkey?

The order Primates contains monkeys, which are mammals. Primates encompasses animals like monkeys, apes, tarsiers, and lemurs, in addition to primates.

Apes (e.g., gorillas) Monkeys are not animals like chimps, gorillas, or gibbons.

Most monkeys are social, arboreal (tree-dwelling) animals. Even those that don’t live in trees (such as baboons) are descended from animals that once did.

For an arboreal existence, monkeys have a variety of modifications. Long, flexible arms and hands and feet are among the features. They have excellent depth perception because their eyes are forward-facing. When they’re moving through the trees, this assists them in judging their leaps.

Monkeys are bright creatures who can solve complex problems. Social primate species have been found to have larger brains than those that are less social, according to research.

The Two Main Types Of Monkey: Meet The Old World Monkeys and the New World Monkeys.

The old world monkeys and the new world monkeys are the two main types of monkey, as we have discovered. Around 45 million years ago, the new world monkeys split off from the other simians.

* Simians are monkeys and apes who belong to a sub-group of Primates.

Old World Monkeys

An old world monkey, this hamadryas baboon Eastern Africa and western Asia are home to this species.

In comparison to their new world counterparts, old world monkeys are often larger in size. Their thumbs are opposable and their tails are shorter.

The Catarrhini group includes old world monkeys as well as apes. These primates’ downward-pointing nostrils are referred to by the term Catarrhini, which means “down-nosed.”

There are many sub-groups within the old world monkey family, including:

  • Baboons
  • Macaques
  • Talapoins
  • Guenons
  • Black and white colobuses
  • Doucs
  • Vervet monkey
  • Gelada
  • Mangabey
  • Langur
  • Mandrill
  • Surilis
  • Patas monkey
  • Proboscis monkey

New World Monkeys

Central and South America (but not North America) are home to the new world monkeys.

Platyrrhini means “flat-nosed” in Latin, and this group’s scientific name is Platyrrhini. Since new world monkeys have sideways-facing nostrils, this is the case.

Old world monkeys are generally larger than new world monkeys. Prehensile (capable of holding) their tails are significantly greater. While the monkey is climbing, a new world monkey’s tail might be utilized as a “fifth hand.”

Callitrichidae, Cebidae, Aotidae, Pitheciidae, and Atelidae are the five new world monkey families.

There are several types of new world monkey, including:

  • Marmosets
  • Tamarins
  • Capuchins
  • Squirrel monkeys
  • Night monkeys
  • Titis
  • Sakis
  • Uakaris
  • Howler monkeys
  • Spider monkeys
  • Woolly spider
  • Woolly monkeys

Why Are There Two Main Types Of Monkey?

Between 85 and 55 million years ago, the first primates evolved. These early primates gave rise to all of today’s primates.

Several branches of the primate family tree have emerged over millions of years. The different primate families (apes, tarsiers, monkeys, and so on) that we know today were formed from this.

Simiiformes, a group of primates known as simians, are one example of such a branch. The ancient world monkeys, new world monkeys, and apes are the three primary simian groups today.

About 40 million years ago, the new world monkeys split off from other simians. After traveling to what is now South America, they were separated from the other simians. (They may have arrived via a land bridge or were carried over the sea on a natural raft made of vegetation.)

The apes and ancient world monkeys would not split off from one another for another 15 million years.

Surprisingly, this means that an old world monkey is more closely related to an ape such as a gorilla, or a human, than it is to a new world monkey.

Types Of Monkey: Old World Species

Blue Monkey

  • Scientific name: Cercopithecus mitis
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

From Sudan in the north to South Africa at the foot of the continent, the blue monkey is a species of old world monkey that may be found in numerous central and east African nations.

The blue monkey is mostly dark grey in color, with lighter olive-grey patches on its face. Despite its name, it is dark gray. Tropical rainforest and bamboo forest are two types of forest where the species may be found.

Chacma Baboon

  • Scientific name: Papio ursinus
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

One of five different types of baboons, the chacma baboon. South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana are among the southern African nations where it may be found.

It has a long snout like other baboons, and spends more time on the ground than other monkey species.

One of the heaviest and longest monkeys is the chacma baboon. A big male can weigh up to 45 kg (99 lb.) and have a body-tail length of 199 cm (28.3 in.).

Crab-Eating Macaque

  • Scientific name: Macaca fascicularis
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Macaques come in 23 different species, and the crab-eating macaque is one of them. The name of this species comes from its crab-foraging propensity on beaches. Crabs are not typically a significant part of the diet of this species, which includes fruits, seeds, and other plant material. Little animals and inanimals are likewise eaten by monkeys.

Because of its long tail, which may be up to twice as long as the body, the species is also known as the ‘long-tailed macaque.’

Many Southeast Asian nations, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, have populations of crab-eating macaques in the wild.


  • Scientific name: Theropithecus gelada
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The gelada is estimated to be the world’s commonest monkey, with a global population of almost 200,000 mature individuals. Despite this, hunting and habitat destruction are reducing the population.

The gelada is a ground-dwelling monkey, unlike most monkeys. It can be found in Ethiopia’s grasslands and rocky areas.

Baboons are a distant cousin of this species.

Grey-Cheeked Mangabey

  • Scientific name: Lophocebus albigena
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo are among the countries where the grey-cheeked mangabey may be found. The fruit that make up the bulk of this dark-colored monkey’s diet live primarily in the forest canopy, where it forages for them.

One of six species of crested mangabey, the grey-cheeked mangabey is a tall animal.

Japanese Macaque

  • Scientific name: Macaca fuscata
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Only in Japan do the Japanese macaques dwell in woodlands. Over the course of many months of the year, some of the land where it may be found is blanketed in snow. As a result, the species is known as the snow monkey. The habit of bathing in hot springs is what distinguishes this well-known old world monkey.

The Japanese macaque is the only monkey species that lives north of the Equator. Moreover, unlike any other monkeys, this hardy species may be found in regions with temperatures lower than those found.

King Colobus

  • Scientific name: Colobus polykomos
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The black and white colobuses are the members of the genus Colobus, which includes five species, including the king colobus.

Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinea are among the countries where this rainforest monkey may be found. It resides in tiny groups and summons rival troops by screaming.

Vulnerable is the status of the king colobus. Hunting is the biggest inimical to its survival. Habitat destruction is also a threat.


  • Scientific name: Cercopithecidae
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The mandrill, the world’s largest monkey, is found throughout Africa. On all fours, it may weigh up to 54 kg (119 lb.), with a shoulder height of 65 cm (26 in.).

Cameroon, the Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon are all home to mandrills in the West African rainforests. They spend the majority of their time on the ground, although they do climb into the forest canopy to eat as well.

Proboscis Monkey

  • Scientific name: Nasalis larvatus
  • Conservation status: Endangered

Due to its somewhat strange appearance, the proboscis monkey is one of the most recognized monkey species. Only in Borneo’s forests do you find this long-nosed simian. Since the soil in these locations is rich in minerals and salts, it lives near rivers, bogs, and beaches.

Deforestation is the biggest danger to this vulnerable monkey. Due to logging, most of the proboscis monkey’s native habitat has been destroyed.

Rhesus Macaque

  • Scientific name: Macaca mulatta
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Forests, shrublands, grasslands, and human towns and cities are all habitats for this adaptable monkey. Southern Asia is home to the rhesus macaque. It is found in a larger area than any other non-human primate.

In Asian cities, the rhesus macaque has learnt to beg for food, root through trash, or steal directly from people. It is a frequent sight.

Vervet Monkey

  • Scientific name: Chlorocebus pygerythrus
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

From Ethiopia through South Africa, the vervet monkey may be found. It is most often found near rivers and thrives in savannas, forests, and woodlands.

Vervet monkeys live in groups that range in size from ten to 38 members. Female vervet monkeys live with their troops for the rest of their lives. Males are more likely to leave their groups and join other nearby groups.

The vervet monkey is hunted for bushmeat and is considered a pest by local farmers, despite its conservation status of Least Concern.

Types Of Monkey: New World Species

Bald Uakari

  • Scientific name: Cacajao calvus
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

Brazil and Peru’s flooded forests are home to the bald uakari. It is hairless on the top of its head and has a shaggy brown coat. For a new world monkey, its tail is quite short.

Because of its dependence on rivers, the species is susceptible to human intervention. Deforestation for logging and small-scale agriculture is posing a threat to it. While its human-like appearance makes it less likely to be hunted in some areas of its range, the species is also endangered by hunting.

Black Howler Monkey

  • Scientific name: Alouatta caraya
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Because females and juveniles are golden-brown rather than black, the black howler monkey is also known as the black and gold howler monkey.

Black howler monkeys’ troops use their loud calls to communicate with each other. The chance of group conflict is decreased as a result of this. Dawn is when they are most often heard. Up to 5 kilometers away, their cries may be heard.

Howler monkeys are in the same family, Atelidae, as spider, woolly, and woolly spider monkeys. The black howler monkey is one of fifteen different species of howler monkey.

Blonde Capuchin

  • Scientific name: Sapajus flavius
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered

The world’s most endangered monkey is the blond capuchin. Just around 180 mature individuals are left. Only in the coastal rainforests of northeastern Brazil can you find this species.

The blonde capuchin, which bears a 75 cm (30 in.) body-tail length and weighs up to 3 kg (6.6 lb), is named for its blonde fur.

Habitat degradation and hunting for food and the pet trade are both posing threats to the blond capuchin.

Brown Woolly Monkey / Common Woolly Monkey

Brown woolly monkey photographed near the Tarumã Açu River in the Amazon Rainforest.

  • Scientific name: Lagothrix lagothricha
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The tropical and subtropical woods of South America, particularly the Amazon Rainforest, are home to the brown woolly monkey. Brazil, Columbia, and Peru are among the countries where the species may be found.

Woolly monkeys come in four different species. The woolly texture of these monkeys’ fur gives them their name.

Brown woolly monkeys live in groups of around 40 monkeys. These bigger groups split up into smaller foraging groups throughout the day. A fission-fusion society is the name given to this kind of society.

Common Marmoset

  • Scientific name: Callithrix jacchus
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The average height of the common marmoset is roughly 18.6 cm (7.3 in.) and the average weight is roughly 246 g (8.7 oz.). Their tails are rather lengthy when compared to other species. It has nails on only its big toes, like other marmosets; the rest of its digits have claws. Gum and sap released by trees and bugs are the primary foods of this species.

Common Squirrel Monkey

  • Scientific name: Saimiri sciureus
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The canopy squirrel monkey, which lives in South American rainforests, notably the Amazon Rainforest, is a small monkey that resides in the canopy.

The species primarily forages in the lower canopy and understorey. Foraging for fruit and insects occupies a large portion of its waking life.

What was formerly thought to be one species may now be three or four, according to genetic analysis. Only one species is currently recognized by both the Catalogue of Life and the IUCN.

Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey

  • Scientific name: Ateles geoffroyi
  • Conservation status: Endangered

From southern Mexico to Panama, Geoffroy’s spider monkey is an endangered primate. It weighs about 9 kg (20 lb) and is one of the biggest of the new world monkeys. The species forages for its preferred food of fruit in the rainforest canopy for the majority of its time. As a fruit seed disperser, Geoffroy’s spider monkey is an important part of the forest ecosystem.

Geoffroy’s spider monkey is threatened by habitat destruction, but it is also hunted by humans.

Golden Lion Tamarin

  • Scientific name: Leontopithecus rosalia
  • Conservation status: Endangered

With just about 1,000 mature individuals remaining in the wild, the golden lion tamarin is an endangered species. Only in Brazil can you find this species, which lives in the Atlantic coastal forests east of Rio de Janeiro.

The gorgeous golden-red coat of this small monkey has made it famous. Tamarins and marmosets have claws rather than nails on their fingers, as well as all of their toes save the big toe, in contrast to other monkeys and apes.

Pygmy Marmoset

  • Scientific name: Cebuella pygmaea
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The world’s tiniest monkey is the pygmy marmoset. It weighs about 100 grams (3.5 oz.) and has a combined body and tail length of around 33.5 cm (13.2 in).

The Amazon rainforest is home to this little primate. It prefers to dwell beside rivers and is most often found in the understorey layer.

The pygmy marmoset’s teeth are particularly suited for chewing holes in tree bark and sampling sap. In addition, it contains insects and fruit.

The species’ conservation status is Least Concern, and it is fairly common across its range.

Three-Striped Night Monkey

  • Scientific name: Aotus trivirgatus
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

Northern night monkeys are also known as three-striped night monkeys. It is one of a group of night monkey species that were formerly considered to be a single species.

In the forests of Venezuela and Brazil, you may find the three-striped night monkey. Fruit, nuts, other plant products, insects, and bird eggs are among the foods in its diet.

Owl monkeys are another name for night monkeys. Unlike most other monkeys, who are active during the day, these nocturnal monkeys are mostly active at dawn and dusk (whereas most other monkeys are active during the day).

Night monkeys have excellent night vision thanks to their large brown eyes.

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