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Primate Species

 

Click to see a larger version
Squirrel Monkey
© Sue Boinski

Primates are mammals, which means they are warm-blooded, have fur, and feed their young milk. Primates have large brains, which makes them among the most intelligent creatures on earth. They have excellent eyesight with both eyes facing forward, which gives them good depth perception. Nearly all primates are good climbers, because they are very agile and can grasp with their hands and feet. Unlike many mammals, they have hands rather than claws, which help them swing through the trees.

The primate order is divided into three groups: monkeys, apes, and prosimians (pre-monkeys). There are over 233 species of primate, which include 158 monkeys, 14 apes, and 61 prosimians. Monkeys are further divided into two groups, New World monkeys and Old World monkeys, according to which part of the world they live in. New World monkeys live in the Americas (Central and South), and Old World monkeys live in Asia and Africa. Apes are all from the Old World and are divided into Lesser Apes and Greater Apes. Prosimians are ancient primates, some unchanged for 70 million years! They are also from the Old World, and the majority of prosimians live on the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa.

Below is a list of some well-known species of primates. The list is not complete, but represents a portion of all primate species. Click on a name to read about the primate and see its picture. For more pictures, visit my picture gallery.

Monkeys
Apes
Prosimians

New World Monkeys


Old World Monkeys

Lesser Apes


Greater Apes

Prosimians

 

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