Facts About Monkeys : 10 things to know about it
It’s no secret that monkeys are fascinating animals. These primates, and more specifically the chimpanzee, share many points in common with humans. At this peak, dive into the heart of the forest and learn the most important Facts About Monkeys.
You may not know, but monkeys are divided into several families: marmosets and tamarins, great apes, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys.
Great apes, also known as hominids, are distinct from their cousins. This family includes chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orang-utans and gibbons. Like the great ape, man belongs to the Hominidae family. Unlike other primates, great apes are taller and have no tail. These mammals can also be bipedal.
Finally, these species are endowed with a particularly high intelligence. In fact, they are able to use tools and have really impressive learning skills.
In this article we are interested in these animals, not forgetting other families of monkeys. Check out below a list of 10 Facts About Monkeys :
Monkey: Where can you find it?
Monkeys are mostly distributed on three continents: Central and South America, Asia and Africa. They especially love tropical rainforests.
However, some species live in temperate forests, mangroves, savannas and grasslands. A total of 496 species of primates inhabit these large spaces.
For example, the Red Howler, the Sagouin, the Sapajou or the Saïmiri hide in Latin America. For their part, great apes evolve in Africa or South Asia.
Chimpanzees are in fact present in 21 African countries where they inhabit the forests. Orang-utans are endemic to the rainforests of the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
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The gorilla is the largest and strongest of all monkeys
In nature, the gorilla is the largest primate in the world. There are two species of gorillas: the western gorilla and the eastern gorilla. Each of these species has two subspecies.
Among them are mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas. These mammals live in groups on the African continent, mainly in tropical or subtropical forests.
Depending on the species, some of them show gigantic measures. Straightened, adult males can measure up to 170 CM. They are actually slightly taller because they have bent knees.
In fact, they can reach more than two meters of wingspan. It is not surprising that gorillas are also very powerful animals. They can lift loads of 800 kilograms, compared to 410 of a human being. It should be noted that these large beasts weigh between 100 and 250 kilograms.
Despite its imposing physique – wide chest, stubby shoulders and powerful jaw – the gorilla is a shy animal. This gentle vegetarian giant uses his strength to defend himself or to mark his territory.
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In Ghana, the monkey reigns supreme
In the Volta region of Ghana, the villagers of Tafi Atome take care of the mones, the monkeys that inhabit the surrounding forest. These red, brown and white coated primates belong to the Cercopithecoidea family.
Small mammals, considered sacred, have close ties to the locals. The animals, in fact, live in total freedom and do not hesitate to enter the houses.
For their part, the natives feed them with bananas, plants or corn. As you may have understood, monkeys and villagers live in harmony.
In the 80s, hairballs became the target of hunters. To protect them, the local population has found a solution that respects nature: ecotourism.
Since 1996, the sanctuary has attracted thousands of visitors every year. This form of tourism aims to protect the regional culture and environment. The income collected was used to build a clinic, dig wells and renovate the school buildings in the village.
The monkey is able to use the tools
It is no secret that great apes are distinguished by their intellectual and cognitive abilities.
As mentioned above, primates use tools and have extraordinary learning abilities.
For example, West African chimpanzees use stones and branches to break nuts. Similar behavior has also been observed in capuchin monkeys (Brazil).
In a study by the Max Planck Institute and the University of Cambridge, researchers filmed a group of chimpanzees living in Congo. The results showed that the great apes were able to handle different tools.
A primate was spotted picking up a twig with the aim of sticking it into a termite mound. The animal then took a finer twig – the end of which is chewed – to fish for termites. Smart, isn’t it?
The pygmy marmoset is one of the smallest monkeys in the world!
The pygmy marmoset, also known as the cute marmoset, is one of the smallest primates in the world. It belongs to the family Callitrichidae. The hair bolus is native to South America.
At birth, the chicks measure an average of six centimeters and weigh 15 grams. When they reach adulthood, males measure about 15 centimeters. On the other hand, the length of their tail fluctuates between 17 and 23 centimeters.
Finally, the average weight of an adult male is 130 grams. It should be noted that the female is slightly larger than her mate.
Despite their small size, pygmy marmosets are very agile animals. In nature, these acrobats jump four meters and climb trees with great dexterity.
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The gibbon is a kind of monkey that expresses itself by singing.
Gibbons are found in the forests of Southeast Asia. They are distinguished from other great apes by their small size, considerable arm length and arboreal lifestyle.
You may not know, but the gibbon is a monogamous species. Couples live high in the foliage and reign over a territory that extends for over twenty hectares.
This species of monkey has the particularity of singing to express itself. Every morning, couples sing in duet to mark their territory. Primates communicate with each other in case of threats such as the presence of a snake on the ground or a feline in the trees.
Depending on the species, the song of the gibbon can be heard within a radius of 2 kilometers. His vocalizations are also used to seduce a woman or scare a competitor.
The great monkey is endowed with emotions
Thanks to the work of British anthropologist Jane Goodall, we know that great apes are capable of feeling emotions and are endowed with empathy.
“We found that animals did things that we arrogantly thought were just for humans. I know they share emotions, pleasure, joy, sadness and fear,” the primatologist said about great apes and chimpanzees.
According to scientists, some species of monkeys experience mourning and perform funeral rites. This is the case with gorillas and chimpanzees.
Ham: the first monkey to have been in space
On January 31, 1961, the chimpanzee Ham became the first hominid sent into space. The little astronaut was born in Cameroon, a country in Central Africa.
It was brought to the United States by a group of hunter hunters before being purchased by the US Air Force in 1959. He was then transferred with forty other chimpanzees to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
On the spot, mammals follow a training that aims to prepare them for their putting into orbit.
Two years later, Ham was selected and then sent into space as part of the Mercury-Redstone 2 mission. This experiment was used to test the feasibility of space travel before sending a real astronaut.
In the stratosphere, the chimpanzee brilliantly passes the logical tests and exercises learned during its training. After a 6-minute suborbital flight culminating at an altitude of 250 kilometers, its capsule descends and lands in the Atlantic Ocean.
His spacecraft is recovered by the destroyer Ellison. As a reward, the primate received an apple! The furball spent the last years of his life in a North Carolina zoo. He died in 1983 at the age of 26.
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The monkey is genetically very close to man
Like humans, monkeys have five-fingered hands with one opposable thumb. This allows them to cling to the branches.
Apart from their physical similarity, great apes, especially the bonobo and chimpanzee, are genetically very close to humans. In any case, this is what a study conducted by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany) confirms.
The results, published in the journal Nature, indicate that the DNA of the bonobo is 98.7% identical to that of humans. Finally, the DNA sequence of chimpanzees and humans is 99% identical.
Scientists say humans are as close to chimpanzees as they are to bonobos.
The great ape is threatened with extinction
The noose tightens dangerously around the great apes. Some of these primates are threatened with extinction.
For example, the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla are on the list of endangered species. For its part, the mountain gorilla is classified as “endangered”. Unfortunately, bonobos have nothing to envy to their cousins. They are in fact in danger of extinction. Their population is estimated at 20,000 individuals.
It is not surprising that chimpanzees are no exception to the rule. The hair bolus is considered an “endangered” species. According to WWF, at the beginning of the 20th century the chimpanzee population amounted to almost 2 million individuals: “Today they do not exceed 500,000 individuals,” says the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Also remember that the orangutan is an endangered species. The red man of the forest is destined to disappear into the natural environment in the coming decades. All these animals are threatened by poaching, habitat loss, deforestation and disease.