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