Facts about the animal kingdom

Types of Monkeys in the World

Graham Harper
By Graham Harper, Journalist specialized in animal welfare. September 12, 2017
Types of Monkeys in the World

Monkeys are primates classified either as monkeys of the new world or monkeys (Platyrrhini) or the old world (Cercopithecidae). These do not include hominids, which would be primates that have no tail, which man evolved from.

Animals like the orangutan, the chimpanzee, the gorilla or the gibbon do not enter the scientific classification of monkeys either. As well as having a tail, monkeys have a more primitive skeleton and are small animals.

There are a total of 260 living species of monkeys in the world. However, in this AnimalWised article we will explain the scientific classification of monkeys in more detail and distinguish between the six families of monkeys. Now let't get onto the different types of monkeys and their names!

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  1. Classification of simians
  2. Titis and tamarins
  3. The Capuchin monkey
  4. Night monkeys
  5. Uakari monkeys
  6. Howler monkeys
  7. The Old World monkeys

Classification of simians

To understand everything about the types of monkeys correctly, we must detail that there are a total of 6 families of monkeys grouped in 2 different orders.

Plathyrrhine or New World monkeys: This covers the known monkeys of the New World[1]:

  • Callitrichidae family - 42 species in Central and South America
  • Cebidae family - 17 species in Central and South America
  • Aotidae family - 11 species in Central America and South America
  • Pitheciidae family - 54 species in South America
  • Atelidae family - 27 species in Central and South America

Catarrhini or Old World monkeys: Covers those known as Old World monkeys.

  • Cercopithecidae family - 139 species in Africa and Asia

As you can see, Simians, or the Simiiformes infra order is very extensive, with several families and more than 200 species of monkeys. Species are distributed almost equally in the American territory and in the African and Asian continents. It should be noted that in the Catarrhini there is the Hominoidea family, primates that are not classified as monkeys.

Types of Monkeys in the World - Classification of simians

Titis and tamarins

The Callisto or Callitrichidae by their scientific name are primates that live in South America and Central America, in this family there are a total of 7 different genres:

  • The Roosmalens' dwarf marmoset is a primate that lives in the Amazon, can reach up to 39 cm in adulthood, being one of the smallest marmosets.
  • The pygmy marmoset is characterized by its small size, being the smallest species of monkey of the new world type. It lives in the Amazon.
  • The Goeldi's marmoset is an inhabitant of the Amazon also characterized by their long and lustrous black fur, except in the womb where they have no hair. They have a mane that can reach 3 cm in length.
  • The neotropical marmosets are a total of six species of primates where we can find the common marmoset, the black-tufted marmoset, Wied's marmoset, Buffy-headed marmoset, the Buffy-tufted marmoset and the white-headed marmoset.
  • The Mico genus comprises a total of 14 species of marmosets or titis living in the Amazon jungle and north of the Paraguayan Chaco. Among all these species we can highlight the silvery marmoset, black-tailed marmoset, the Santarem marmoset.
  • The lion tamarins are a genus of small monkeys that owe their name to the hair they have, and are unique to the Brazilian rainforest. The species are easily distinguishable by their colors. Examples of this genus are the golden lion tamarin , the golden-headed lion tamarin, black lion tamarin and tthe black-faced lion tamarin.
  • The tamarins as such, are a genus of primates that live in Central and South America. They are known for having small canines and long incisors, and there are a total of 15 species.

In the image we can see a silvery marmoset:

Types of Monkeys in the World - Titis and tamarins

The Capuchin monkey

In the Cebidae family, by its scientific name, we find a total of 17 species distributed in 3 different genus:

  • The gracile capuchin monkeys are named after the white coat of hairs that surround their face, can reach 45 cm and comprise 4 species, the white-headed capuchin, the wedge-capped capuchin, the white-fronted capuchin and the cairara.
  • The robust capuchin monkeys are endemic to the warm regions of South America and, as the name implies, are more hefty than gracile cappuccinos, characterized by having tufts on the head. There are a total of 8 species. Both graceful and robust capuchins belong to the Cebidae family , but to the Cebinae subfamily .
  • The squirrel monkeys live in forests of South and Central America can be found in the Amazon or in Panama and Costa Rica, depending on the species. They have a total of 5 species, belong to the Cebidae family, but to the Saimiriinae subfamily .

In the photograph you can see a capuchin monkey:

Types of Monkeys in the World - The Capuchin monkey

Night monkeys

Night monkeys are the only genus of primates of the Aotidae family, can be found in South America and Central America in tropical forests. They can measure up to 37 cm, the same size as their tail. They have a characteristic chestnut or gray coat which covers their ears.

As the name suggests, they are nocturnal animals, with very large eyes, like many animals that are active at nigh,t and an orange sclera. It is a genus that has a total of 11 species.

Types of Monkeys in the World - Night monkeys

Uakari monkeys

These monkeys come from the genus Cacajao, they are a family of primates that live in the rainforests of South America, and in most cases are arboreal. In this family there are 4 genera and a total of 54 species:

  • The uakari monkeys, also called guakaris where a total of 4 species are known. They are characterized by having a tail much shorter than the size of their body, we are talking about half the size or a little less in many cases.
  • The Bearded Sakis are primates living in South America, are named after the notorious beard that covers their jaw, neck and chest. They have a thick tail that they only use to swing from trees. In this genus 5 different species are known.
  • The sakis are primates that live in the jungles of Ecuador, where a total of 16 species of monkeys are found. Both sakis, bearded sakis and uakarian monkeys belong to the subfamily Pitheciinae , always in the family Pitheciidae.
  • The Titi monkeys are a genus of primates living in Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and Bolivia. They can measure up to 46 cm, with a tail equal to or 10 cm longer. The genus includes a total of 30 species, belonging to the subfamily Callicebinae and to the family Pitheciidae.

In the image you can see a Uakari:

Types of Monkeys in the World - Uakari monkeys

Howler monkeys

Atelidae monkeys are a family of primates that can be found throughout Central and South America, even from the southern part of Mexico. This family includes 5 genera and a total of 27 species:

  • The howler monkeys are animals that live in the tropics, you can be found from Argentina, to southern Mexico. They owe their name to the characteristic sound they emit to communicate, which is very useful when in danger. They can measure up to 92 cm in length, with a tail of similar measurements. They have a short face and flat nose, belong to the subfamily Alouttinae, always within the family Atelidae . A total of 13 species can be distinguished.
  • The spider monkeys owe their name to the absence of an opposable thumb in their limbs, and live in areas from Mexico to South America. They can measure up to 90 cm, with a tail of similar size. It is a genus that has a total of 7 species.
  • The spider woolly monkeys can be found in Brazil, completely contrasting the black spider monkey a common gray or brown. It is the largest species of platirrinos, which has 2 species.
  • The woolly monkeys, also known as Muriqui, are primates in jungles and forests of South America. They can measure up to 49 cm and its distinguishing feature is the presence of woolly fur in a hue of brown colors. This genus has 4 species of monkeys.
  • The yellow-tailed wooly monkey is the only species of the genus Oreonax , endemic to Peru. Its present situation is not very promising, since it is classified in critical danger, a step before extinguishing the species in the wild state and two steps before the complete extinction. They can measure up to 54 cm, with a tail a little larger than your body. Both the yellow-tailed choro, the woolly monkey, the woolly spider monkey and the spider monkey belong to the subfamily Atelinae and to the family Atelidae.

In the photograph we can see a howler monkey:

Types of Monkeys in the World - Howler monkeys

The Old World monkeys

The Cercopithecidae by their scientific name, also known as Old World monkeys belong to the Catarrhini and superficial Cercopithecoidea families. It is a family where there are a total of 21 genera and 139 species of monkeys. These animals live in Africa and Asia, in varied climates and equally changing habitats. Among the most important genres are:

  • The red monkey is a primate species of East Africa, living in savannas and semi-desert areas. They can reach 85 cm and have a tail 10 cm shorter. They are one of the fastest primates, can reach speeds of 55 km / h.
  • The macaques are found in Africa, China, Gibraltar and Japan. These monkeys have a poorly developed short tail or even lack one. In this genus there are a total of 22 species.
  • The Baboons are terrestrial animals that rarely climb trees, they are the biggest Old World monkeys. They are quadruped animals, with long and thin heads, with a jaw with powerful canines. They prefer open habitats, in this genus we distinguish 5 different species.
  • The proboscis monkey is an endemic primate of the island of Bormeo, known for having a long nose to which it owes its name. They are animals that are gravely endangered, it is known that today there are only 7000 specimens.

In the photo you can see a red monkey:

Types of Monkeys in the World - The Old World monkeys

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  1. New World primates: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, edited by Warren G. Kizey, Aldine de Gryter, New York :https://tinyurl.com/y8vxxull
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Types of Monkeys in the World