Biodiversity

Friday, May 12, 2006

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NEW AND OLD WORLD MONKEY

The scientific name for the New World monkey is Platyrrhini (2) and The Old World monkeys are Catarrhini. Old World monkeys are found mostly in Africa and Asia but some are also found in Europe (1). New World monkeys are only found in South America (5).New monkeys differ slightly from the Old World monkeys in many aspects e.g. their physical features, the way they live and the way they take care of their infants.

The nose is the feature that is used mostly to differentiate the New monkey from the Old monkeys (2).The New World monkeys has a flat nose, with side facing nostrils which are far apart and Old World monkeys have New World monkeys have down facing noses with nostrils which are close to each other (6). New World monkeys have three premolars, large molars and their last molars are small or absent while the Old World monkeys have two premolars and their molars have sharp cusps. Old World monkeys’ ears have a tympanic membrane connected to their inner ear by a bony tube while New World monkeys’ ears are also have a tympanic membrane connected to the inner ear but by the bony ring (6).

New World monkeys have a long prehensile tail and they use their tail as their fifth hand (2) while the Old World monkeys have tails but they are not prehensile (1). Old World monkeys have rotated thumbs which are more opposable and they have finger nails even on the toes and the New World monkeys have thumbs whose orientation lies on a line with other digits and they finger nails on their big toes (6).

New World monkeys spend most of their time in trees and they live in arboreal habitat “small” and they prefers living in groups of about 18 individuals (2) while the Old World monkeys spends most of their time on the ground; they climb trees occasionally especially when they are going to sleep (1) and they live in wide range areas (6). Old World monkeys such as Mandrills are omnivores and they get their food by foraging plants, insects and smaller animals while the New World monkeys like to eat nuts, berries and insects (3).

Many New World monkeys prefers having one partner for sexual reproduction and the males helps with the raising of the young (2) while in the Old World monkeys there is no paternal care the offspring are looked after by their mother until they are adults (1). New World monkeys (Howler monkeys) range from 56 to 92 cm in size and have a life span of 15 to 20 years (4). The Old World monkeys weighs up to 30 kg and they can grow 1 m long. Old World monkeys can survive up to 25 years (3).

Old World monkeys have more colourful faces than the New World monkeys and they are more dominant than the New World monkeys.

Reference:

1. Wikipedia contributors. Old World monkeys [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 11, 18:58 UTC [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World_monkey
2. Wikipedia contributors. New World monkeys [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 7, 15:12 UTC [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_monkey
3. Wikipedia contributors. Mandrill [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 8, 01:47 PTA [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandrill
4. Wikipedia contributors. Howler monkeys [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 9, 00:44 UTC [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howler_monkey
5. Anon. The New World monkeys [Internet]. Updated Anon, [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~phyl/anthro/platy.html
6. Anon. New World-Old World Monkey Comparisons [internet]. Updated Anon, [Cited 2006 May 25]. Available from: http://www.cabrillo.edu/~crsmith/monkeycomparisons.html

Lethabo Mosomane
CSIR
Pretoria
0001
Tel: 27 12 841 2133
Fax: 27 12 842 3676
Mail: lmosomane@csir.co.za
http://lmosomane.blogspot.com/

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