Monkeys are a large and diverse group of mammals that have been in existence for nearly 55million years. There’s wide variety of monkeys spread across the world, with different lifestyles. They also come in many shapes, colours and sizes. In addition, these animals are known to be intelligent and social creatures.
It may interest you to know that monkeys are split into two groups: old world monkeys and new world monkeys. Old world monkeys can be found in Asia and Africa and have a physical appearance of downward pointing nostrils , while new world monkeys can be found in North and South America and have a physical appearance of outward pointing nostrils. On that note, here are some fun facts about monkeys:
Fun facts about monkeys
1. The word “monkey” is thought to come from a Germanic root word meaning to mimic.
2. New World monkeys have prehensile tails. While Old World monkeys have tails, they don’t have the same gripping ability that those in the New World enjoy.
3. Most monkey species are arboreal, meaning they live in trees. This provides safety from most predators, especially with large troops. However monkeys living on the ground tend to be very fast or very large to compensate for the more dangerous living situation.
4. Monkeys are known to be intelligent creatures and have an active IQ that is the equivalent of 3-year old toddlers. This means monkeys can solve basic puzzles and even get basic abstract concepts to solve those puzzles when tested and have the ability to use tools to their advantage.
5. The average lifespan of a monkey in the wild is about 20 years, but some monkeys have been known to live up to 40 years or more in captivity.
6. Not all monkeys have tails, there are a few species of tailless monkeys like the Barbary macaque and the capuchin.
7. Monkeys use both their hands and feet for grasping, and their tails for balance. Their feet and hands are more versatile as they can all be used for gripping, swinging and lots more.
8. Male monkeys are usually larger than females, and have more muscular bodies and distinctive features in order to attract a mate or fight off other males that attempt to compete for mates or take over their troop.
9. Male monkeys also have larger canines, which they use for eating meat or often while fighting with other male monkeys. These larger teeth can appear like fangs when put on display to warn off any opponent or potential threat.
10. Monkeys have unique fingerprints similar to humans. Almost all monkeys have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. Except the spider monkey, which has one fewer finger on each hand, and the thumb-lacking colobus monkey, an Old World species.
11. The fastest monkeys in the world are the Patas monkeys. They can run an amazing 35 miles per hour; this is faster than the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt’s best time. It also means Patas are as fast as your average race horse. They can go from 0 to 33 mph in just 3 seconds, which is useful for evading African predators.