Q:

How do monkeys adapt to their environment?

A:

Quick Answer

The monkeys' adaptations vary by their species and their natural habitat. One distinguishable adaptation of New World monkeys from Old World monkeys is the presence of a prehensile tail. Most prehensile tails are longer than a monkey's body, enabling him to swing from tree to tree effortlessly.

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Full Answer

The arboreal lives of New World monkeys involve staying on top of the trees high up in the rain forest canopy. Spider monkeys have hook-like hands that allow them to hang and swing by their arms on tree branches, while their webbed toes enable them to swim and paddle through water to get food or escape predators. Spider monkeys and other herbivorous monkeys stay and rest on trees most of the time to digest the vast amount of leaves they consume everyday.

Some Old World monkeys, such as baboons and macaques, have cheek pouches that they use to temporarily secure and store their food. The pouches are useful since these omnivorous monkeys live in large groups, and they often need to compete for desirable food. Arboreal New World monkeys, however, lack cheek pouches, as they thrive on leaves, fruits and other plant materials.

Monkeys, especially the New World species, are very vocal. They have a highly developed larynx, enabling them to produce a wide range of sounds, such as bird-like calls and guttural sounds. These sounds allow them to send their message and communicate with their kind.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How much do monkeys weigh?

    A:

    The weight of a monkey depends on its species. The talapoin monkey, which is one of the smallest monkeys, weighs around 2 to 4 pounds, while a savanna baboon can weigh between 50 to 100 pounds.

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  • Q:

    Where did monkeys come from?

    A:

    According to Palomar College, monkeys evolved from an extinct species known as prosimians during the transition to the Oligocene Epoch, approximately 33.9 million years ago. Monkeys quickly overcame the prosimians, probably resulting in the extinction of the prosimians, and monkeys became the dominant primate species. During the Miocene Epoch, apes began to evolve from monkeys and displaced them as the dominant primate species.

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  • Q:

    How long do spider monkeys live?

    A:

    In its natural environment, the spider monkey can live up to 25 years. In captivity, spider monkeys have been known to live for as long as 40 years.

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  • Q:

    What types of monkeys are there?

    A:

    There are more than 260 different species of monkeys, including baboons, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, blue monkeys and mandrills. Other species of monkeys include Capuchin monkeys, common marmosets, squirrel monkeys and Japanese macaques.

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