Biodiversity

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DESCRIPTION OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NEW AND THE OLD WORLD MONKEYS

There are two types of monkeys in the world, the old world monkeys and the new world monkeys. The monkeys which are found in the continents of Africa and Central to Southern Asia, Japan and India are the old world monkeys. On the other side the monkeys which are found in the continents of both ''Central and South, North America and Mexico are said to be the new world monkeys'' (Bhattacharya, 2003). Both old and new world monkeys have the characteristics which differentiate them from each other. Some of the characteristics include the geographical distribution.

The old world monkeys live in rain forest, islands, steppes, mountains and savanna as opposed to the new world monkeys which live in tropical rain forest (Bhattacharya, 2003). New world monkeys are known as ‘’Platyrrhines and the old world monkeys are known as Catarrhines’’ (Pratt, 2004: 2). The new world monkeys possess nostrils which face down but round in shape and the old world monkeys possess nostrils which face down but narrow. When coming to the composition of the teeth, in the new world monkeys three pre-molars are found in the big monkeys while in the old world monkeys, two pre-molars are found. Even the body size of both the world monkeys are different, the body size of the old world monkeys is large, for example, Baboon.

While the body size of the new world monkeys is small. Flat nails and pads on the buttocks are also found in the old world monkeys as opposed to the new world monkeys. The canine teeth in the old world monkeys are also said to be big and sharp with the gap between the incisors and the canines while on the other side the upper canine teeth are also said to be sharp. Pratt (2004: 3) further continues by saying that the new world monkeys belong to order Platyrrhini which consists of three families and sixteenth genera. On the other side the old world monkeys belong to the order Catarrhini which consists of the two super families.

The majority of the Catarrhines are terrestrial, which means that they live on land as opposed to Platyrrhines which are thought to be coming from the sea. The reason why the Platyrrhines are said to be coming from the ocean has been provided by the fossil remains which has been studied. On the other side the Catarrhines are said to have a ''narrow range of the niches'' (Wikipedia contributors, 2006). Catarrhines also share their niches with both the apes and the Prosimians as opposed to the Platyrrhines. It is further said that the new world monkeys are more evolutionary than the old world monkeys, which means that the world monkeys are not closely related to the modern humans as compared to the old world monkeys.

In the new world monkeys, family callitrichidae contain four genera which are saguinus like Jeffries tamarind; leontopithicus like golden lion tamarind; callantric like marmoset and the genus cebulla pygmy marmoset. In the old world monkeys the superfamily hominoidea possess small brain as opposed to the superfamily cercopithecoids which possess large brain.

In conclusion, both the old the new world monkeys show the huge differences between them which range form their geographical distribution, diagnostic features and their relationship with the modern humans. Finally, the old world monkeys are thought to be our close friends as opposed to the new world monkeys.

References:

Bhattacharya, S. 2003. Colour vision ended human pheromone. [Online]. Available from:
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn3835 [cited 25 May 2006, 8:19]

Pratt, D. 2004. Humans Origins. [Online]. Available from:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/ape1.htm [2004, February 13, 9:24]

Wikipedia contributors. Monkeys [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 12, 11:33 UTC [cited 2006 May 12, 15:15]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkeys

Peter Muvhali
CSIR PTA
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Tell no 012 8142133
Fax 012 8423676
E-mail smuvhali@csir.co.za
URL: http://blogsoccer-peter.blogspot.com/

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