Monkey tails can grasp and hold things

Monkeys are mischievous but intelligent animals, who love playing pranks but have some amazing features and skills

Ade Ishola

Monkeys are primates found primarily in tropical rainforests/ jungles. But generally, monkeys can be easily found all across the globe. However, most of the species live in the tree except some like the macaques and mangabeys that prefer the ground.

Monkeys are sociable and friendly towards humans but can be a bit naughty and disruptive, especially to the farmer’s crops. But they are highly intelligent animals.

Most people usually use the term – monkey as a catch-all for every animal in the primate family, but monkeys are different from apes (like chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans) and prosimians (like lemurs, tarsiers, and lorises). A big difference between monkeys and other primates is in the tail, most monkeys have tails, while apes and other primates do not. Apes also tend to be larger than monkeys and more intelligent because of their larger brains.

Most monkey species are found in the tropical regions of the world but the Japanese macaques found where it snows spend their time mostly living near hot springs. The Golden and Gelada monkeys are mountain dwellers while the Vervet monkeys prefer habitats near lakes, streams, and rivers. Baboons are found in open wooded areas, savannas, and rocky hillsides, spending most of their time on the ground instead of in trees.

There are about 260 species of monkeys with two general classifications: New World Monkeys and Old World monkeys. New World monkeys belong to five families (Cebidae, Aotidae, Atelidae, Pitheciidae, and Callitrichidae) and are collectively addressed as Ceboidea. Old World monkeys belong to the family of Cercopithecidae, which are closely related to humans and apes.

New World monkeys found in Mexico and South and Central America have tails that can grasp and hold things, but Old World monkeys in Africa and Asia don’t have this type of tails. Also, the faces of these two types of monkeys are different from each other. The only similarities are their noses, cheeks and forward-facing eyes.

The prehensile tails of the New World Monkeys are wonders. They are longer and have gripping and grasping abilities, to hold things. These monkeys in the Atelidae family, include the howler monkeys and spider monkeys, and capuchins in the Cebidae family. These monkeys live in the tropical regions of Mexico, Central America, and South America. The spider monkeys and howler monkeys have stronger tails than the capuchins. Spider monkeys have tails that are longer than their entire bodies. Their tails are also hairless and have friction pads for better gripping. Capuchins, which have hair-covered tails that are not nearly as long, primarily use their tails to grasp branches and carry fruit through the forest.

– The Capuchins monkeys are smart with tools and are known to be one of the first primates other than apes to have used highly skilled tools use in the wild. Archaeological studies revealed that wild bearded capuchins have been using tools for over 3,000 years, with their tool usage evolving. These intelligent tools use include placing seeds and nuts on pitted stone “anvils” and then hitting them hard with another rock. This act includes adjusting the size of their tools — using smaller rocks for seeds and softer nuts. They also rub crushed-up millipedes on their bodies to repel mosquitos and other insects.18

– Monkeys have feelings, as they can feel love, fear, compassion and hate.

– Larger monkeys are strong and super speedy. They have sharp claws that can kill.

– Monkeys work in groups when they are hunting for food with a leader who gathers the food, while the other monkeys stand guard. But sometimes the leader can be mischievous by sending signals that there is danger around just to keep all the food for himself.

– Monkeys usually use grooming to strengthen relationships as they hold hands and groom each other with lots of affection and love. This includes picking dirt and debris off their companions to strengthen their social bonds. The grooming also fluffs their furs and makes them thicker and warmer.

– The Barbary macaques are the only species of a wild monkey in Europe, with about 200 of them remaining in Gibraltar. They were believed to be part of the original population imported from Northern Africa, many centuries ago.

– The Pygmy Marmosets, found in the Amazon Basin of South America, are the tinniest 0New World monkey, with about five inches in length and a weight of about four ounces at adulthood.

– The Night or Owl monkeys, are nocturnal and use their wide eyes to see in the dark.

– A spider monkey has a long tail and spidery limbs.

– The monkeys with the longest noses are called proboscis and are only found in the south of the continent of Australia and the island of Borneo.

– Japanese Macaques, also known as snow monkeys, enjoy hot baths. These monkeys have evolved to thrive in climates ranging from subtropical to sub-Arctic. They usually troop to hot springs to enjoy hot baths, which researchers say help reduce their stress.

– Monkeys use body movements, vocalization, and facial expressions to communicate with one another. These include facial expressions (staring, grinning, pulling lips, head jerking and bobbing and yawning}; tail movements; and vocalization, including hoots, grunts, barks, squeaks, screams, and wails) to show affection, anger and aggression.

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