Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Monkeys comprise 90 percent of the 145 living species of the suborder anthropoidea. They are the most successful primates populating the earth. They have different class of anthropidea which have many supper families such as Cercopithecidea which is regarded as the old world monkeys, this old world monkeys are mostly found in the continent of Africa and Asia. While Cebidae is regarded as new world monkeys this new family have four primate families Aotidae, Pitheciidae, Atelidae and Cebidae.

Old world monkeys are known as catarrhine and the new world monkeys are known as platyrrihini.this two groups of species can be differentiated from each other by their physical appearance.Platyrrhine nose is flat as compared to the one of the catarrhine, their nostrils are separated by a wide septum, while of the catarrhine are separated by a small septum. Platyrrhine have three molars which are large as compared to the one of the catarrhine which are two and sharply connected cusps.

They are also differentiated by their characteristics, they have different behaviour. Males of the platyrrihini are involved in the infant caring, most of the time the males will carry the infant on it back and give them to their females for nursing. While the old world monkeys male do not care for their infant.

The platyrrihini mainly live in trees and they are herbivores, they only eat leaves, fruits, nuts, gums and occasional small preys such as insects. While catarrhine live in broad habitats, they spend most or some of their day on the ground. These monkeys have hairless callous pads, on their rumps which may be adaptations for long sitting or sleeping on rough branches and stone and the new world monkeys do not have that marks.

The new world monkeys are having long tails, often known as prehensile tails, and they are arboreal and nocturnal, while of the old monkeys are easily observed, they never had a prehensile tails. The new world monkeys sometimes use their tails as their third hand. Another difference between the two monkeys is their body; the old world monkeys are having large body size as compared to the new world monkeys. And the old world monkeys are having bright colourful colours especially in their face; on the other side the new world monkeys are having dark colours and small body with lots of fur that made them to look big.

In conclusion, it is easier to differentiate the old world from the new world monkeys simply by their appearance, when you are distanced from them you can check their colours, body weight and when you are not far you can also check their facial appearance as they are different. Also their characteristics are different new world monkeys prefer to live on trees while the old monkeys occupy different habitant and they prefer to live on ground than on trees.

All these monkeys irrespective of their differences they share one common character, both of them are intelligent and they behave like humans.


1. Anthropology 1, new world (America) and old world (Africa and Asia) monkey: A comparison, [internet] [cited 2006 May 11] Available form:

2. Wikipedia contributors. Monkeys. [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia [cited 2006 May 12] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_monkey.

3. Wikipedia contributors. Monkeys [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkeys


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