Asia, Africa and America are home to a large species of monkeys. They love treetops and are often seen hanging upside down from long branches. They have powerful limbs and a tactile tail.
These animals are naturally intelligent and inquisitive. They are broadly classified as “Old World” and “New World” monkeys depending on their characteristic features and developmental style. The former will typically have pouches on their cheeks to store food. They have nostrils that are curved and placed close together. The most interesting feature is their tails. These tails cannot grasp trees or branches.
The New World monkeys, on the other hand, have a powerful tail that acts as a faith limb, helps in grasping branches, foods, and supports the animals when it is dangling upside down. They are found in South and Central America. Their nostrils are placed far apart and they do not have any cheek pouches on their face.
Living in the jungles is no easy task. These animals face stiff competition from other animals for food and water in the forests. They are also hunted and eaten by large predators. The babies and younger monkeys in general are particularly susceptible. Leopards, cougars, jaguars, snakes and eagles will feast on monkeys big or small. Pythons and boa constrictors found on trees can easily catch these primates, constrict them and swallow them whole. Crocodiles and caimans found in water wait for monkeys to come over and gulp some water. They find it a lot easier to catch monkeys in their “water zone” than on land, making these species vulnerable. Chimps, their very own distant relatives, eat baby monkeys.
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