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Surely it is no secret to anyone that for a long time in science circles a monkey was considered to be our closest relative, and people descended from a monkey. Now this scientific theory is being questioned, not all scientists believe that we, who are so called “homo sapiens”, evolved from monkeys. However, scientific debates on this score are still ongoing, but our article is not about that, but about those amazing creatures, our smaller brothers, who, among all the diverse animal world of the planet Earth, are really similar in their structure to us, people.

Monkey: description, structure, characteristics. What does a monkey look like?

Let's start with the fact that the very origin of the name "monkey" is very curious. Until the 16th century, our monkey was called “opitsa,” by the way, the Czechs call it so far. After the Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin returned from his famous journey to India, he brought into use the Persian name “Abuzina”, meaning literally “the father of fornication”. Subsequently, the Persian "Abuzina" transformed itself into a "monkey".

The length of a monkey's body, depending on its type, can range from 15 cm (for a dwarf igunka) to 2 m (for a gorilla). Also, the monkey's weight can be from 150 grams for the smallest representatives of the species, up to 275 kg - so much weigh huge gorillas.

a monkey

Many monkeys are arboreal, that is, they mostly live in trees and, as a result, have a long back, a shortened narrow rib cage, and thin hip bones. But the orangutans and gibbons have a broad chest and massive pelvic bones.


In some monkeys, the presence of a very long tail, the length of which may even exceed the size of the body, the monkey's tail performs the function of a balancer when moving between trees. But in monkeys living on the ground, the tail is very short. As for monkeys without a tail, all “human-like” monkeys do not have it (and indeed, people do not have it either).

monkey with a tail

The body of monkeys is covered with wool of different colors, depending on the species, it can be light brown, red, black and white, olive gray. Some adult monkeys may turn gray with age, and male monkeys go bald, again almost as humans.

The monkeys have mobile, well-developed upper limbs, very similar to our hands, each with five fingers, and the monkeys living on the trees have short and large fingers, which allows them to fly from branch to branch.

monkey hand

Binocular monkey eyesight, many of them have black pupils of the eyes.

The teeth of monkeys are also similar to human ones, in narrow-nosed monkeys there are 32 teeth, in broad-bearing ones - 36.

Monkey teeth

The monkey's brain is also very well developed; among other representatives of the animal world, dolphins could compete with monkeys in terms of their level of intelligence. In apes in the presence of whole parts of the brain responsible for meaningful action.

Monkeys communicate with each other using a special signal system consisting of facial expressions and sounds. The most "talkative" among them are monkeys and capuchins, they have rich facial expressions, are able to express a wide range of feelings.

Monkey mimicry

Where do monkeys live

Monkeys live on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica, of course. In Europe, they live only in Gibraltar, in Southeast Asia, Africa (with the exception of Madagascar), Central and South America, Australia.

Monkey lifestyle

Monkeys live in small families and by the way of life are divided into tree monkeys living on trees and terrestrial living on the ground. Monkeys tend to be sedentary and rarely leave their territory.

Sometimes there are clashes between male monkeys, with the goal to solve the answer to the question "who is the main male here", although often such clashes are limited to a demonstration of the strength of each male and do not reach a real fight.

Japanese macaque

How many monkeys live

On average, the life span of monkeys is 30-40 years. However, humanoid monkeys live longer, they can live to 50 years.

What monkeys eat

Monkeys are omnivores, and their diet depends on one or another species and also habitat. Tree monkeys eat everything that can be obtained on the trees - leaves, fruits, nuts, and sometimes insects are different.

Ground monkeys feed on rhizomes and plant shoots (for example, the fern is a favorite gorilla treat), fruits (figs, mangoes, and, of course, bananas). Also, some monkeys are able to fish, eat mollusks, rodents, lizards, grasshoppers, beetles and other small animals with great pleasure.

monkey eating banana

Although there are species of monkeys that eat only one, certain food, for example, Japanese short-tailed macaques - pure vegetarians and feed exclusively on the bark of the trees, and the crabeater monkey, as it follows from its name, feeds on crabs.

Enemies of monkeys

Unfortunately, the monkeys themselves have many enemies in natural conditions, who are not averse to feasting on these primates. Most sworn

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