You might have used the words “Primate” and “Monkey” interchangeably in the past, but you won’t after reading this article. Yes, the term “monkey” is sometimes used to refer to all primates. However, in reality, monkeys come from very different planes from apes and prosimians (more on those soon), evolutionarily speaking. Both apes and monkeys are primates, but the opposite is not valid. Read on to find out things you probably didn’t know about primates!
22. Let’s define ‘primates’ before we go any further.
Primates are a type of small land mammal that have large brains, sharp eyesight, nimble hands, and a shoulder girdle that allows for a lot of movement. They are also very social, often forming social striations similar to those of humans (perhaps because we evolved from other primates!). They are divided into four classifications: Great Apes, Small Apes, Monkeys, and Prosimians. Great apes include bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Small apes are easy: gibbons. Prosimians are the oldest classification of primates like lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, bushbabies, pottos, and angwantibos. Prosimians are arguably the cutest of the primates too! Great apes and prosimians live in Africa and Asia, while small apes live only in Asia.
Monkeys, however, live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They were also introduced to populations in Gibraltar, the Caribbean Islands, and parts of the USA, but these are not their natural habitats. Monkeys are essentially all the remaining primates. If it’s a primate that hasn’t been mentioned yet, it must be a monkey. Baboons, Capuchin monkeys, Colobus monkeys, Drills, Geladas, Guenons, Howler monkeys, Langurs, Macaques, Mandrills, Mangabeys, Marmosets, Night monkeys, Patas monkeys, Proboscis monkeys, Sakis, Snub-nosed monkeys, Spider monkeys, Squirrel monkeys, Tamarins, Titis, Uakaris, and Woolly monkeys are all considered of the “monkey” classification. Keep in mind. However, about half a dozen new primate species are discovered annually, so who knows what other species are out there? https://www.neprimateconservancy.org/primate-facts.html