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A monkey is any cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) or platyrrhine (New World monkey) primate. All primates that are not prosimians (lemurs and tarsiers) or apes are monkeys. The 264 known extant monkey species represent two of the three groupings of simian primates (the third group being the 21 species of apes). Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent and, unlike apes, monkeys usually have tails.
The New World monkeys are classified within the parvorder Platyrrhini, whereas the Old World monkeys (superfamily Cercopithecoidea) form part of the parvorder Catarrhini, which also includes the apes. Thus, scientifically speaking, monkeys are paraphyletic (not a single coherent group) and Old World monkeys are actually more closely related to the apes than they are to the New World monkeys.
Due to its size (up to 1 m/3 ft) the Mandrill is often thought to be an ape, but it is actually an Old World monkey. Also, a few monkey species have the word "ape" in their common name.An ape is any member of the Hominoidea superfamily of primates, including humans. Due to its ambiguous nature, the term ape has been deemphasized in favor of Hominoidea as a means of describing taxonomic relationships.
Under the current classification system there are two families of hominoids:
the family Hylobatidae consists of 4 genera and 14 species of gibbon, including the Lar Gibbon and the Siamang, collectively known as the lesser apes.
the family Hominidae consisting of chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, humans and orangutans collectively known as the great apes.
A few other primates, such as the Barbary Ape, have the word ape in their common names (usually to indicate lack of a tail), but they are not regarded as true apes.
Except for gorillas and humans, all true apes are agile climbers of trees. They are best described as omnivorous, their diet consisting of fruit, including grass seeds, and in most cases other animals, either hunted or scavenged, along with anything else available and easily digested. They are native to Africa and Asia, although humans have spread to all parts of the world.
Most ape species, except humans, are rare or endangered. The chief threat to most of the endangered species is loss of tropical rainforest habitat, though some populations are further imperiled by hunting for bushmeat.A primate (pronounced /ˈprаɪmeɪt/, us dict: prī′·māt) is a member of the biological order Primates (/prаɪˈmeɪtiːz/ prī·mā′·tēz; Latin: "prime, first rank"), the group that contains lemurs, lorisids, galagos, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes (including great apes such as humans). With the exception of humans, who inhabit every continent on Earth,[a] most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of the Americas, Africa and Asia. Primates range in size from the Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur, which weighs only 30 grams (1.1 oz) to the Mountain Gorilla weighing 200 kilograms (440 lb). According to fossil evidence, the primitive ancestors of primates may have existed in the late Cretaceous period around 65 million years ago, and the oldest known primate is the Late Paleocene Plesiadapis, c. 55–58 million years ago. Molecular clock studies suggest that the primate branch may be even older, originating in the mid-Cretaceous period around 85 mya.
The Primates order has traditionally been divided into two main groupings: prosimians and simians. Prosimians have characteristics most like those of the earliest primates, and included the lemurs of Madagascar, lorisiforms and tarsiers. Simians included the monkeys and apes. More recently, taxonomists have created the suborder Strepsirrhini, or curly-nosed primates, to include non-tarsier prosimians and the suborder Haplorrhini, or dry-nosed primates, to include tarsiers and the simians. Simians are divided into two groups: the platyrrhines ("flat nosed") or New World monkeys of South and Central America and the catarrhine (narrow nosed) monkeys of Africa and southeastern Asia. The New World monkeys include the capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, and the catarrhines include the Old World monkeys (such as baboons and macaques) and the apes. Humans are the only catarrhines that have spread successfully outside of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia, although fossil evidence shows many species once existed in Europe as well.
Description Source Wikipedia