The Colobus Monkey Is An Old World Monkey. Photo:

The Colobus Monkey Is An Old World Monkey. Photo:

What Types Of Monkeys Are There?

There are two main types of monkeys in the world: New World monkeys and Old World monkeys.

New World monkeys are the monkeys that live in the rain forests of South and Central America. Old World monkeys are the many types of monkeys that live in Africa and Asia.

There are some big differences between these types of monkeys. For instance, almost all New World monkeys have prehensile tails, which they can use as a “fifth arm” to wrap around tree branches. Species of New World Monkeys include howler monkeys, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys and marmosets.

Old World monkeys lack prehensile tails. They are usually bigger than New World monkeys—in fact, the world’s largest monkey, the mandrill, lives in the African rainforest. Types of Old World monkeys include baboons, colobus monkeys, many species of macaques, and the langurs of Asia.

Old World Monkeys are more closely related to the apes—chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons—than they are to New World monkeys.

It is important to remember that the apes, including chimpanzees, are not types of monkeys. They are a separate family of animals altogether.

Find out more about types of monkeys and apes.