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30 Fascinating Monkey Facts You Need to Know

Carolyn Young
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30 Fascinating Monkey Facts You Need to Know

Kids love animals; they have a natural inclination to know and feel more about every little creature. Kids are naturally intrigued about life around them, from showering unconditional love to dogs to being super curious about monkeys.

If your kids have been harping you with funny questions, then it’s your time to baffle their minds. Today, sit your kids down and read to them these amazing monkey facts and get a chance to become their favorite parent for the day.

These amazing monkey facts will keep them busy and focused while improving their knowledge. Combining weird, funny facts and fun but informative facts is a great way to educate your kids about the world around them.

Monkeys always manage to pique the interest of kids. Their funny little quirks and over-the-top personalities make them worth all the attention they get from curious kids.

Here are the top 30 monkey facts for your kids.

1. Big Brains

Big Brains

Monkeys are primates. A species that falls with the same genetic family tree as humans. Their brains are similar to humans; this makes them smart animals. Monkeys fall into the same categories as lemurs and apes. All of these have evolved from a common ancestor. Some common primate traits include having a relatively large brain compared to the rest of the body. Hands are better adapted to grasp, have fewer offspring, and live in complex social communities.

2. Tropical Babies

Tropical Babies

Monkeys are creatures that have thrived best in the tropics. This includes the New World monkeys of the Amazon rainforest. The old world monkeys have been found in rainforests, mountain regions, and savannas in tropical areas of Asia and Africa. Monkeys often escape predators because they can swing from one tree to another; they communicate via howls or noises using which they warn one another.

3. Troops

Troops

Here’s a simple fact that not even the older generation may know. Did you know that a group of monkeys is called a troop? They live in a group or community-like system and travel together, look for food, and protect one another. Unlike some other animals, primates do not store food but actively seek it.

4. Vocal Technique

Vocal Technique

Monkeys call out to one another; they communicate in their way. They are known to make our and others’ scream sounds. It is believed they vocalize about 26 unique sounds. Squirrel monkeys are known to make characteristic sounds. Similarly, a howler monkey is one of the loudest monkeys in the world. They are also the loudest animals in the world, whose screams can be heard up to a distance of almost 3 miles.

5. Sleep

Sleep

Monkeys are very similar to humans concerning the time duration of sleep. They sleep slightly more than humans, i.e., 9-10 hours of sleep. However, certain nocturnal monkeys are known to sleep as much as 17 hours, similar to owl monkeys. Fun trivia: monkeys do not lie down and sleep like humans; they find a tall tree and sleep sitting.

6. Myanmar Monkeys

Myanmar Monkeys

The Myanmar monkeys have been known for a very unique trait. They have noses that are different anatomically. Therefore, their nostrils point outward; therefore, when it rains, they begin to sneeze continuously. This is why they have been observed to have tucked their heads in to prevent this during rains or fog. These are also known as Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys. Unfortunately, they are a critically endangered species. They were discovered recently in 2010.

7. Space Exploration

Space Exploration

Humans were the first primates to go to space. A monkey named Albert 1 was sent to space on June 11th, 1948, to ensure it was safe for living beings to travel to space.

8. A Relaxing Bath

A Relaxing Bath

Don’t you love a good hot shower during cold weather and a cold shower during sweltering heat? Turns out so do monkeys. Monkeys are known to enjoy a good relaxing bath in hot volcanic springs. It has been known to reduce stress in monkeys. It was observed in Japanese Macaques and snow monkeys. They would travel in troops to Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan for a relaxing bath. Who can blame them? Everyone loves hot baths, after all.

9. Tool Smartness

Tool Smartness

Capuchins are a breed of monkeys that are considered to be among the smartest of the lot. Capuchins are the smartest kinds as they have used tools. They make tools and use them. This breed has been doing so for over 3000 years now. They generally use these tools to crack upon nuts. However, the brilliance lies in changing the tool shape depending on the nut they wish to open.

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10. Showing Love

Showing Love

You may have seen so much video footage of monkeys being affectionate to their zoo caretakers over the years. Because they live in troops, they have very similar emotions to humans. They show affection by grooming each other. Grooming is done to remove dirt, debris, and bugs from the monkeys. It is believed to be similar to how humans use hugs to express true affection to one another. It is a classic behavior observed between members of the troops, and often also the mother grooming the baby.

11. Largest Monkey

Largest Monkey

Mandrill is the largest monkey breed in the world. They are found in the African rainforest. They are stunning to look at with their distinctive red and blue colors on their nostrils. In fact, these colors become more pronounced when they are in an excited stage. These large monkeys can weigh up to 70-110 pounds in males and about 20-30 pounds in females. The females are often two or three times less in size than their male counterparts. They have a life of about 20 years but can also be extended up to 31 years with proper care/

12. Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey

Who doesn’t like friendly monkeys? These cute monkeys are extremely social creatures. They love making friends and are generally extremely friendly. They need good social interaction, without which, shockingly, they do not survive. When spider monkeys are held alone in captivity, they die because of loneliness. That speaks volumes about how much these spider monkeys like a good socializing session.

13. They are Everywhere

They are Everywhere

While it is well-known and accepted that monkeys love the tropics, they are truly everywhere. Here is a fun trivia for your little one – Did you know that monkeys are present in all continents except for Antarctica?

14. Fastest Monkey

Fastest Monkey

Since we have discussed the loudest and the largest, why not delve right into the heaviest? Monkey breeds called the patas are among the fastest primates. In fact, they can run as fast as a racehorse. Can you imagine the lightning speed at which this monkey can explore? A patas monkey can go from a mere zero to 33 miles per hour in as little as 2 seconds. It’s truly going to give all the other animals and monkeys a run for their money.

15. Greetings

Greetings

The Capuchin monkeys are famous for one more thing – how they greet. Capuchin monkeys are known to greet one another by poking their fingers into the nose of the other monkey. Yes, it’s a sticky business. Capuchin monkeys seem to like having their noses in other businesses, isn’t it? Not just that, in general, the capuchin monkeys are known to be quite strong, too. To have a high strength-to-weight ratio.

16. More on Capuchins

More on Capuchins

Capuchins have garnered quite the repute in the monkey world. Did you know a capuchin named Ayla the Capuchin is one of the smartest of the lot? She is a part of Monkey College, which trains capuchins to be assistants to disabled people for tasks they are unable to do themselves. These monkeys have proved to be quite quick to learn and can be of assistance in dire circumstances such as these.

17. Great Navigators

Great Navigators

Surprise surprise! Monkeys do not need Google Maps! Evidently, most monkeys have a very acute sense of direction. They can remember their routes well. Therefore, if they have traveled from one destination to another for food, they can find their way back effortlessly. Monkeys can quickly readjust or amend their routes simply out of memory. Monkeys are great at sensing the direction and understanding geography based on basic mental maps.

18. Owl Monkey

Owl Monkey

As the name suggests, this monkey species is a nocturnal monkey. They have a great sense of night vision that ensures they remain safe and sound during the night. In order to keep them away from predators, this night vision is very important. Additionally, they also are able to search for food well because of this ability. These monkeys are known to communicate with one another using the distinctive scents they give off. This improved olfaction allows a better ability to move around, forage, and also for mating activities.

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19. Monkey Species

 monkey species

Did you know that there are about 260 species of monkeys all across the globe? Some are still being discovered. For instance, the capuchins were discovered in 2010. Most monkeys live on trees for the most part of their lives. However, a few species, such as baboons, are known to enjoy the ground, too. Monkeys are generally very intelligent species of animals.

20. Difference Between Old World and New World

difference between old world and new world

Did you know that there are types of monkeys? These are known as old-world monkeys and new-world monkeys. They have different benefits or traits they offer. For instance, the New World monkeys have the ability to use their tail to hold objects. This suggests quite a strong tail. However, old-school monkeys do not have the ability to hold things with their tails.

21. Size Wars

Size Wars

In general, in terms of size, monkeys can grow as much as 1 meter in length; for instance, the mandrill monkey belongs to old-school monkeys with an average weight of about 35 kgs or more.

22. Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Monkeys are acrobatic; when they play, when they fight, when they search for food, they keep swindling from one branch to another. Of these, the monkeys from the spider monkey species are known to be the most acrobatic of them all. In fact, it is known to have jumped gaps of almost 35 feet between trees.

23. Diana Monkey

Diana Monkey

Diana monkeys are named after a peculiar shape made on their forehead that resembles the brow of the Roman goddess Diana. The Diana monkey has a characteristic brow uniquely shaped and is made of distinctive white hair. This brow is crescent-shaped and resembles the goddess’s browband. These monkeys are, however, an endangered species today because of loss of habitat and hunting.

24. Fingertips and Tails

Fingertips

Did you know that monkeys have a small patch of tactile skin on their tail? This skin patch performs the same functions that the human fingertips do in terms of feeling and touching things. And not just to touch, it also has tiny ridges that enable a better grip, thus making it very similar to fingertips.

25. God – Connect

God - Connect

In Hindus, Hanuman is a god with a jaw that resembles that of a monkey. He was believed to be one of the strongest warriors and led a monkey army to save goddess Sita with Lord Ram. Hanuman is widely worshipped across India, and monkeys, too, are highly respected because of this connection. In fact, in India, grey langurs are also known as hanuman monkeys. These, too, are an old-world monkey species that are native to the Indian subcontinent.

26. Myth Busting

Myth Busting

The popular myth that humans have come from monkeys is actually not true. In fact, humans and monkeys, just like other primates, have all come from a single ancestor about 25-30 million years ago. These species have then adapted very differently and evolved into the beings we know and see today. However, humans have a common ancestor with chimpanzees, who lived about six to eight million years ago.

27. Deer Rides

Deer Rides

How do you know monkeys are smart? Here’s an example. In the Yakushima island of Japan, it is observed that monkeys often groom and share food with local deer. In exchange, deers take these monkeys for a ride. This fun little barter is a brilliant example of how animals constantly adapt well to their support and learn to live in synergy.

28. Smart Monkeys

Smart Monkey

Monkeys are often used in various experiments and training to understand their behavior well. It was observed that after weeks of training the rhesus monkeys. They began to identify and recognize themselves in front of the mirror finally. When they did recognize it, they showed peculiar behavior. In this case, they would often observe their genitals in complete detail.

29. The Great War

The Great War

Did you know that Alexander 1 has pet monkeys? One of his pet monkeys bit him, resulting in sepsis that led to an unfortunate death. He was bitten by the barbary macaque that is known for its strength. This eventually resulted in a war that caused multiple casualties. In fact, during those days, having a monkey as your pet was quite the norm in royal houses. In fact, there is a famous quote by Churchill: “The macaque killed a king and 250,000 Greeks,”

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30. Deforestation Chaos

Deforestation Chaos

Most of the common tropical monkeys are at risk of losing their homes because of rampant deforestation. It is believed that various primate species are at extreme risk of being endangered because of the extent of loss of habitat for these species, among others.

Almost half of the monkey species are under threat of extinction. 58 of the species are from the South and Central American regions. Immediate action on the conservation of wildlife is necessary.

What Do Monkeys Eat?

Monkeys are very flexible in terms of their diet. They have been known to consume almost all types of foods but primarily eat things like seeds, eggs, flowers, fruits, nuts, spiders, and other small insects.

They are super active animals and generally can eat anything that has a distinctive smell. In fact, a common occurrence of mischievous monkeys is observed all over the world.

Monkeys easily come up to people and snatch or grab their food. In some areas, monkeys have figured out areas from where they can safely source food. Because of the increasing nuisance, some believe that monkeys are becoming besties that wreak havoc; sometimes, they damage crops and cause losses.

Let’s Explore the King of the Jungle

When it comes to monkeys, you often picture a small, docile, brown-colored monkey acting mischievously or playing around on trees. On the other hand, you think of gorillas, the exact opposite of those things. Gorillas have garnered the reputation of being the jungle king for a very good reason. Gorillas are extremely large primates that are strong, sharp, and beautiful. Male gorillas can weigh as much as 300-400 pounds.

They are protective, super strong, and quite intimidating. A female gorilla is about half the size of a male gorilla. Gorillas walk around in their forelimbs, using a technique called knuckle-walking.

They live in groups of 6-12. They are led by either the oldest or the largest male of the group. They have an innate and unmatched ability to protect their group; they can be dangerous and are known to charge directly if they feel threatened, earning them the reputation of being the ‘King of the jungle.’

Conclusion

Monkeys are beautiful, intelligent creatures that closely interact with the human species as compared to other wildlife. They are social creatures that live in groups and have very quirky behavioral traits.

Kids love monkeys, their long tails, unique personalities, and characters. Your kids need to be more attuned and empathetic to wildlife because they are the future of the world.

Their natural curiosity toward animals must be nurtured, and they must be encouraged to learn as much as they can about animals.

Just like how your baby learned about these 30 monkey facts that were unique and interesting and also gave the kids an insight into the world of the monkeys

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes Monkeys Special?

Monkeys are considered intelligent animals. They are primates that have a brain that is relatively larger as compared to their body. This makes them learn, observe, and act smartly to protect their troops. They are also extremely social beings living in small groups with a complex social structure and hierarchy that helps them survive in the wild.

How Smart is a Monkey?

Monkeys are considered extremely smart and intelligent with a brain like humans. While their brain may not be as developed as a human brain, they can still grasp a lot. They have the ability to follow puzzles, understand concepts with examples, repeat behavior, and even use tools.

Which Animal has the Highest IQ?

Chimpanzees take away the prize in terms of IQ. They are extremely smart and perceptive beings. They can learn, make, and use tools to meet their needs. They have also been known to outsmart humans on certain occasions.

Carolyn Young
Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young, a passionate environmental journalist with a BS in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, has been part of our team since 2021. Her focus is on animal education and wildlife awareness. Carolyn's experience includes working with conservation NGOs, bringing a real-world perspective to her writing. Her expertise in animal education is evident in her engaging and informative articles on wildlife awareness. She is an advocate for wildlife protection and spends her free time birdwatching and participating in conservation projects.

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