A monkey is "any nonhuman primate mammal with the exception usually of the lemurs and tarsiers".
Broadly defined, there are three type of monkeys: (1) non-human hominoids (also known as apes), (2) old world monkeys, and (3) new world monkeys. However only the latter two are currently considered monkeys by most biologists. However non-human hominoids are still widely considered monkeys in the popular culture.
There are about 280 known living species of monkey (260 if non-human hominoids are excluded). Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, old and new world monkeys usually have tails. Tailless monkeys may be called "apes", incorrectly according to most modern biologists; thus the tailless Barbary macaque is called the "Barbary ape".
The New World monkeys (superfamily Ceboidea) are classified within the parvorder of Platyrrhini, whereas the Old World monkeys (superfamily Cercopithecoidea) form part of the parvorder Catarrhini, which also includes the hominoids (apes and humans). Thus, as Old World monkeys are more closely related to hominoids than they are to New World monkeys, the monkeys are not a unitary (monophyletic) group, and thus there is no scientific basis for biologists currently excluding non-human hominoids from the monkey category.
In Walking with... SeriesEdit
This episode stared Apidium, so far the only monkey (rather than an ape) that starred in any of IP productions. Although it lived during the late Eocene, Apidium was very similar to modern monkeys physically and behavior-wise; it lived in social groups, was active during the day, and was prey to many predators, including an Eocene shark.
Apes differ from monkeys in several ways:
- Apes are larger and generally heavier than monkeys;
- Apes are tailless, while monkeys usually have tails, sometimes quite long;
- Apes are bipedal, monkeys - quadrupedal;
- The teeth and jaw structure is different.