Friday, May 12, 2006


“A monkey is any member of two of the three groupings of simian primates. These two groupings are the New World and Old World monkeys of which together there are 264 known extant species” (1). They range in size and weight, some live in trees and others in savanna. Their “diets differs amoung the various species but may contain any of the following: fruit, leaves, seeds, nuts, flowers, insects, spiders, eggs and small animals”. (1)

“Although monkeys everywhere have similar external appearances, a closer look reveals unique and distinctive differences between the American and Old world monkeys” (1). Both the old world and the new world monkeys share some of the characteristics. They both share the same type of teeth which are much specialised. These specialised mammalian teeth are used for eating different of different foods. “Some characteristics are shared among the groups; most New World monkeys have prehensile tails while Old World monkeys do not; some have trichromatic colour vision like that of humans, others are dichromats or monochromats. Although both the New and Old World monkeys, like the apes, have forward facing eyes, the faces of Old World and New World monkeys look very different though again, each group shares some features such as the types of noses, cheeks and rumps” (1).

The hairless callous pads are present on the old world monkeys and this may be adaptations for long periods of sleeping and sitting on rocks and branches which are rough but the new world monkeys do not have this characteristic. “All New World monkeys differ slightly from Old World monkeys in many aspects, but the most prominent of which is the nose. This is the feature used most commonly to distinguish between the two groups” (2 ). The “old world monkeys have the down facing nose; nostrils are closer together and open down ward” (3).The molars of the new world monkeys are large and have three pre-molars. In contrast the old world monkeys have two premolars and “the molars have sharply connected cusps” (3). The ear region of the new world monkeys is a “tympanic membrane connected to external ear by a bony ring” whereas to the old world monkeys the “tympanic membrane connected to external ear by a bony tube” (3).

The old world monkeys “have tails but lack prehensibility feature” (3). They have a sitting pads around the tail region which is a thickly calloused skin areas supports the animal while they sit in trees or while resting, but the “new world monkeys have prehensile tails” (1, 4). Prehensile tail refers to “the tail of an animal that has been adapted for use as a fifth hand” (4). These are mostly used to hold while eating foods and during manupulation of objects. The old world monkeys have “thumbs that are rotated and more opposable which look like of humans” (3).

The males of the old world monkeys are less involved in taking care of the young monkeys and interestingly the males of the new world monkeys are more involved in taking care of the infants ( meaning that not only females are responsible in making sure that the youngs are nurtured, rather it is also the male responsibilities). When coming to their habitat these two differ in a way that the “old world monkeys tolerate a wider range of habitats, form rain forest through savannah fringe and semi arid regions and they also spend much of the day on the ground” (3). Unlike the new world monkeys prefer specific areas.

Monkeys are intelligent and they sometimes behave like human.


1. Wikipedia contributors. Monkey [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 21, 05:33 UTC [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from:

2. Wikipedia contributors. New World monkey [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 21, 15:12 UTC [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from:

3. Anthropology 1, New world (America) and Old world (Africa and Asia) monkey: A comparison, [Internet] [Cited 2006 May 25] Available form:

4. Wikipedia contributors. Prehensile tail [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 8, 10:38 UTC [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from:

Mr Lufuno Mukwevho
CSIR Pretoria
P.O. Box 395
Tel: (012) 841 2133
Fax: 012 842 7024
Cell: 072 317 5626
My blog URL:


  • Okay, there are way too many direct quotes in here, some of them rather lengthy. You cover the topic well, but it's not really your work... Furthermore, your concluding sentence is particularly weak, and not really relevant to the topic.


    By Blogger NcK, at May 29, 2006 11:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home