Where Do Monkeys Live?

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Monkeys live in diverse environments around the world, including the jungles of Central and South America, and the forests of Asia. Identify the differences between new world and old world monkeys with tips from a science teacher in this free video on animal habitats.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Habitats
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Video Transcript

I'm Janice Creneti. I've been teaching Environmental Science for about twenty years and I'm here to talk to you today about where monkey live. Well, that all depends on the type of monkey that you're talking about. As I said, monkeys belong to a group called Primates; that includes people, chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas and also new world and old world monkeys. Now that distinction is important between the new world and the old world because that tells us where the monkeys are found. New world monkeys are found in the new world; predominantly in Central and South America. We do have some monkeys up here on the everglades in Florida but they're actually not supposed to be there and I'll talk a little bit more about that later. But the new world monkeys are predominantly tree dwellers. You'll notice that they have long arms and legs for swinging to the trees. Another feature of many of the new world monkeys is something called the prehensile tail. That's a long tail that can almost grab around something like a hand. They use that as an extra limb for hanging on the tree branches especially important when you're propped up in a tree, many, many, many hundreds of feet off the ground trying to eat and stay away from predators all at the same time. New world monkeys include things like spider monkeys and tamarins. The golden lion tamarin is one that became famous as people were trying to preserve the Amazon Rain forest. The other group of monkey that we have are the old world monkeys. Now these are found in the old world predominantly in Asia and Africa. They're found in very diverse environments. Baboons are typically found in forested areas as well as, as well as Savannahs. Think of the Lion King. You also have monkeys like Japanese Macaques that live in the Himalayans where it's very, very cold. Thy have very thick fur that enables them to stay warm in the snow. Now your old world monkeys tend to live more on the ground than they do in the trees. And so, you'll see them walking on all fours, rather than swinging through the branches. And you'll notice that they don't have the prehensile tails like some of the old, the new world monkeys have. The other thing about Baboons is that their diet tends to be pretty diverse. If he was to open his mouth, you'd see gigantic K 9 teeth. They actually feed on small mammals as well as fruit. A lot of primates are what we would call opportunistic omnivorous. They eat anything that they can get their hands on. Monkeys are very diverse, highly intelligent and many of them have become endangered around the world as their habitats are slowly being lost. I also mentioned the invasive problem. You see here in the Florida everglades we've had some monkeys get lose during hurricanes. Most likely they escape from a zoo. Well the Florida everglades are a lot like the environments where monkeys live worldwide, the problem is they're not supposed to be there and scientists are working hard to get that population under control. I'm Janice Creneti and this is, "Where do monkeys live"?


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