Animal Diaries Archive
New world monkeys vs. old world monkeys
Primates are currently off display
30 November 2007
Monkeys, monkeys, monkeys!!!! They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They are however divided into two groups: Old world monkeys and new world monkeys.
Place of origin establishes these two groups. Old world monkeys are found in Africa and Asia and include such monkeys as Macaques, Baboons and Colobus and the new world monkeys are found in southern Mexico and Central and South America. Some examples from this group are the Spider Monkey, Squirrel Monkeys and Tamarins. Our very own Cotton Top Tamarins are part of the new world monkey order.
There are also a few characteristic differences of the two groups but these however do not apply to all species. There are always exceptions to the rule in the animal world of classifications. Some of these are:
- Noses: old world monkey nostrils are set close together while the new world are rounder and set wide apart.
- Cheek pouches are only present in some Old World Monkeys e.g. Bonnet Macaque while new world don't. These cheek pouches allow temporary storage of food.
- Some Old World Monkeys have rump pads which the New World does not.
- Tails: Some New World Monkeys have prehensile tails. None of the Old World Monkeys possess these. Prehensile means the ability to grasp an object with their tail.
There are more differences including diets and habitat but I will save this for another instalment. We have plenty more info that we can't wait to share with you.
Till next time, Primates Rule!