Amazing Monkey Facts for Kids

Monkeys are fascinating creatures. Did you know like humans monkeys are mammals and call their babies infants? Did you know there are over 200 species of monkeys? Learn more about these playful animals with these amazing monkey facts for kids.

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squirrel monkey
Squirrel Monkey

What is a Monkey?

Monkeys are primates. A primate is a group of animals that include humans, apes, and monkeys. Monkeys are mammals. A mammal is an animal that is warm-blooded, has hair, breathes air and gives birth to their young. Humans are also mammals.

Monkey Species

There are 264 species of monkeys. Monkeys are divided into two groups: Old World Monkeys and New World Monkeys.

Old World Monkeys are monkeys that live in Africa and Asia. Some species of Old World Monkeys are: Baboon, Mandrill, Snub-Nosed Monkey, and Kipunji

New World Monkeys are monkeys that live in South America. Some species of New World Monkeys are Central America Squirrel Monkey, Pygmy Marmoset, Golden Lion Tamarin, and a Black-Headed night Monkey.

Old World Monkeys have 32 teeth and New World Monkeys have 36 teeth.

Are Apes Monkeys?

Apes are not a species of monkeys. One main difference between apes and monkeys is that monkeys usually have tails and apes have no tails. Although monkeys are smart animals, apes are smarter than monkeys.

What do Monkeys Look Like?

There are so many types of monkeys and each type of monkey looks different. Though each species of monkeys may look different they all have common traits. Some of those traits include: tails, all monkeys have so kind of tail, some are long, some are short and some are tiny stubs but they all have them. Hair, all monkeys have hair, they may be different colors, lengths, and textures but they all have hair. All monkeys have four limbs, two legs, and two arms. They use their limbs to walk and run.

The smallest species of monkey is the pygmy marmoset. They are between 4-6 inches long and weigh less than 1 pound.

The largest species of monkey is the mandrill. They can be 3 ½ feet tall and weigh up to 77 pounds.


Monkey Behavior

Monkeys are very social animals and live in groups. A group of monkeys is called a troop, tribe, or mission. They are also intelligent and are good at communicating and figuring out how to solve problems. Monkeys like to play and cuddle with other monkeys.

Monkeys communicate with each other through a variety of sounds, facial expressions, and body language. The loudest monkey is the Howler Monkey. The howls from a Howler Monkey can be heard up to 3 miles. A squirrel monkey has over 25 sounds that they use to communicate with each other.

Monkeys are usually more active during the day. Owl Monkeys also known as night monkeys are a species of monkey that is more active at night.

Spider Monkeys are monkeys that swing from tree branch to tree branch like they are playing on monkey bars. All other species of monkey run across the branches.

Like humans, monkeys have fingers and their own set of fingerprints.

Monkey s can grab objects with their toes and fingers. Some monkeys can even grab things with their tails.

Where do Monkeys Live?

Monkey’s live in a variety of habitats including forests ,rainforests, grasslands, high plains, and mountains. Old World Monkeys live mostly in Africa and in some partsof Asia. New World Monkeys live in Central and South America.

Cool Fact: More species of monkeys live in Brazil than in any other country.

Most monkeys are arboreal meaning they spend most of their time in trees. However, some monkeys including baboons live on the ground.

Patas Monkeys live on flat open ground in West Africa. Japanese macaques monkeys also known as snow monkeys live in the northern mountainous regions of Japan in the snow!

baby monkeys

Baby Monkeys

Depending on the species of monkey, mother monkeys are pregnant between 4 to 7 months. A mother monkey usually gives birth to one monkey at a time. A baby monkey is called an infant. When a baby monkey is born they are helpless and completely dependent on their mothers. Monkeys are very loving to their babies. Monkeys often carry their young on their backs or around their necks. Baby monkeys are very playful.

Monkeys are considered adults between the ages of 3 – 5.

What do Monkeys Eat?

Monkeys eat fruits, flowers, seeds, leaves, nuts, small insects, eggs and some species even eat small animals.

Monkey Facts for Kids

Monkeys can carry diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and simian herpes.

Monkey is the 9th sign on the Chinese Zodiac.

A major threat to monkeys is loss of habitat.  Many habitats are getting smaller and smaller because of all the trees getting cut down.

I you would like to see monkeys check out your local zoo. Most zoos offer large monkey habitats.

Some species of monkeys are endangered.  Some species include:

Roloway Monkey

Pennants Red Colobus

Tana River Red Colobus

Miss Waldran’s Red Colobus


Pig-Tailed Langur

Delacour Langur

Golden-Heated Langur

Western Purple Faced Langur

Grey-Shanked Douc Langur

Black Spider Monkey

Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey

Variegated Spider Monkey

Brown-Headed Spider Monkey

Peruvian Yellow-Tailed Monkey

Wooly Monkey