Did you know that using the human genome, our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, share 96 percent of our DNA? Or, to put it another way, the number of genetic differences between humans and chimps is ten times smaller than that between mice and rats. Gorillas are next in line, sharing a similar amount of genetic code with humans. So, it makes sense to get to know our extended family! Start the quiz now and see if you can identify all the primates without heading to the zoo. Click the button below.
We all have some wacky relatives and that’s true in the primate family as well. Like the monkey with a mohawk. This cotton-top tamarin has a long sagittal crest covered with white hair from its forehead to the nape of its neck, almost mimicking a mohawk. The exorcist monkey – the pygmy marmoset’s unique feature is its ability to turn its head backward, which comes in handy when spotting predators.
Ah, but there are some real beauties in the family as well. Like the golden lion tamarin (also known as the golden marmoset) that gets its name from the reddish-orange hair that looks almost identical to a lion’s mane. But before we give away all the primate names, take the quiz to see how much you know. You are sure to be better than the 93% of people who can’t identify all the primates. Start now!
Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to us humans, some of whom share as much as 98% of our genetic code. Found in different regions of Africa, these social animals are able to walk upright, communicate through facial expressions and use tools.
Found mainly on the island of Madagascar and other neighboring islands, these lemurs have an iconic long striped black and white tail. These lemurs spend a lot of time on the ground foraging for food, and they use their powerful scent glands to communicate.
After the chimpanzees, the gorillas share the most similar genetic code with humans. These animals are the largest of the great apes and display many human-like behaviors. Standing four to six feet tall and weighing up to 450 pounds, these animals are found in forest habitats in the Congo Basin.
The Bornean orangutan, found on the island of Borneo, belongs to the great ape genus and like the rest of its kind, is extremely intelligent and shares much of its DNA with humans. This critically endangered animal is the one of the largest tree-dwelling animals, weighing an average of 165lbs.
Also called the Guianan or golden-faced saki, these monkeys are found in lower canopy forest areas in many parts of South America. This specific type of monkey, like many others, also displays sexual dichromatism, with the male having a reddish-white face and throat.
The golden lion tamarin (also known as the Golden Marmoset) is a small monkey found in the coastal forests of Brazil. This endangered species gets is name because of its reddish-orange hair that looks almost identical to a lion’s mane.
The golden snub-nosed monkey is an Old-World monkey which is found in the forests of Central and Southern China. They live at elevations of over 1000m above sea level and are known for having a yellowish-red body fur and a whitish-blue hairless face.
Named after the Indonesian island that they are found on, these orangutans are skinnier, more social and have longer faces than their Bornean counterparts. With less with 15,000 of them left, they are listed as critically endangered and many steps have been taken in an effort to increase its numbers.
This critically endangered animal is found in tropical forests of Colombia and is called the cotton top because it has a long sagittal crest covered with white hair from its forehead to the nape of its neck, almost mimicking a mohawk. Weighing just about one pound, these animals are now endangered because of habitat destruction and experimentation by humans.
The Hamadryas baboon can be found in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia (otherwise known as the Horn of Africa). These animals, which were sacred to the ancient Egyptians, show sexual dichromatism; the males with silver white fur and a mane while the females are brown and capeless.
Found throughout parts of Asia, Rhesus monkeys are known worldwide as the monkeys who helped humans to identify the blood groups. In many parts of India, these monkeys are sacred to Hindus and are often left undisturbed, while in other parts of the world, they are kept as pets.
This group of monkeys got their name from the distinctive howl they make which is able to travel as far as three miles through the South and Central American forests where they reside. A fun fact is that the howler monkeys are some of the very few nest building monkeys in the world.
These New World monkeys have a distinctive bald head and a bright crimson-red face due to a lack of skin pigment and a vast number of capillaries under the face. Restricted to wooded habitats of the Amazon jungle (in Brazil and Peru), these animals are now listed as vulnerable due to habitation loss and hunting.
Many people still call the bonobo a pygmy chimpanzee (its former name). Located in the Congo Basin of the Democratic Republic of Congo, this chimpanzee is differentiated from the common chimpanzee by its long legs, pink lips and by the parted hair on its head.
Like most other lemurs, these ones are found in the dry forests on the island of Madagascar and they are also nocturnal in nature. These are some of the world’s smallest primates, weighing 1 to 4 ounces, and have a total length of about 27 centimeters (11 inches).
Proboscis monkeys are only found in the jungles of Borneo and live in groups consisting of a dominant male monkey and a few females with their offspring. Only the male monkeys have the unusually large fleshy noses which they use to attract mates.
Found in the tropical forests from Central America to South America, there are more than 5 species of spider monkeys; two of which are critically endangered. These monkeys are extremely social and are some of the smartest New World monkeys on the planet.
Also called the snow money, these monkeys are found is northern snowy regions of Japan, where no other primates can be found. They have thick brownish-gray fur to keep them warm and bright pinkish-red faces and rear ends.
The muriquis are also called the woolly spider monkeys, as they are closely related to both the spider and the woolly monkeys. Located in Southeastern Brazil, these monkeys range from brown to black and their tails have no fur on the end. They primarily eat leaves but will also eat fruits, seeds and flowers at various times of the year.
The pileated gibbon is found in regions of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and exhibits sexual dichromatism in its fur color; the males have all black fur while the females have grayish-white fur. Gibbons are some of the fastest primates and sometimes it appears as if they are flying through the trees.
Also known as the Anubis baboon, these Old-World monkeys are found in different habitats across 25 African countries including Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. They get their names because when looking at these animals from a distance, their coats appear to be greenish-gray (olive) in color.
Found throughout the forests and rainforests of Africa and Asia, these Old-World monkeys have a very distinctive fur color pattern. When they are born, they are all white and as they grow older, the black coloration comes through.
The Siamang is different from the other gibbons because not only do they have two digits on each foot, they also have a gular sac (throat pouch) which enlarges to the size of the animal’s head, allowing them to make loud sounds.
Found in the highlands of Ethiopia, these monkeys have a dark brown coat of coarse hair and very pale eyelids. This animal is also called the bleeding-heart monkey because it has a bright patch of skin on its chest, that brightens up in females when they are in heat.
Loris belong to the Lorisidae family of strepsirrhine primates. These ones in particular are found in tropical forests and woodland areas of Sri Lanka and India. The female lorises bathe their young in allergenic saliva that dissuades predators from eating them, while they are away.
Once classified as a baboon, this animal found in tropical forests of different African countries now has its own genus. Mandrills are the largest monkeys in the world and have an elongated muzzle with red stripes and blue ridges on the sides. The genitals of these animals are also multi-colored, with more saturated coloration in the more dominant males.
The night monkeys (also called the owl monkeys) are so named because they are nocturnal animals found in parts of Central and South America. These animals have very large eyes which helps them to see at night and they weigh no more than four pounds.
Found in parts of Peru and Bolivia, these animals were given their name because of their resemblance to Wilhelm II, a German emperor who ruled from 1888 to 1918. The gray animal has a yellow speckled chest and a long white mustache which extends far beyond its face.
The pygmy marmoset lives in parts of South America and a unique feature of this animal is that it is able to turn its head backward, which comes in useful when spotting predators. Because of their size, they are easy prey for larger birds, snakes and wild cats.
Also called the dusky leaf monkey or the spectacled leaf monkey, these primates are found in regions of Malaysia. In addition to having white patches of fur on its stomach and mouth, these cute monkeys have small eyes surrounded by large white circles, giving it the spectacled appearance.
Aye-ayes are some of the largest nocturnal primates, and like many other lemurs, they are found in regions of Madagascar. These animals find their food in a very unusual way, and that is by tapping on trees then gnawing through the wood to get the grub.
Like other capuchin monkeys, this one is also found in Central and South America and is known for the role that it plays in the dispersal of seeds and pollen. These monkeys not only help out the rainforest, but they have also been trained to assist paraplegic people.
Found in eastern Brazil, the common marmoset’s fur consists of brown, gray and yellow, and a banded tail. Along with the Buffy-tufted marmoset, these monkeys are known for endangering bird nestlings and eggs.
Often confused with their cousin, the mandrill, these animals are known for having an “appeasement grin” which they use to keep the peace when greeting each other. The rear ends of the male monkeys range in color from red to lilac to purple to blue, and the brightest-colored behind often has the highest rank.
Also known as the wadi or hussar monkey, these ground-dwelling monkeys are found in parts of Western and Eastern Africa. These monkeys are known as the fastest of all primates as they can reach speeds over 30 mph. Fun fact: The color of the fur of some female Patas monkeys changes during pregnancy.
There are three species of douc langur; the red-shanked, the black-shanked and the gray-shanked. These endangered animals all have a long body and the red and gray have a golden face with a whtie chin, while the black has a grayish-blue face with yellowish white patches over and under its eyes.
These baboons are found in regions of eastern Africa, and have had a yellowish-brown coat of fur and a hairless black face, and are often mistaken for the Chacma baboon. The yellow baboons live in troops consisting of as few as 8 to as many as 200 individuals.
Endemic to the wetlands of central Africa and named after an Italian-French explorer are the De Brazza’s monkeys. While most of its fur is gray, its back is reddish-brown, while its limbs and tail are black, and it has a crescent shaped patch of orange hair on its forehead.
Squirrel monkeys are New World monkeys found in the tropical forests of Central and South America. These small monkeys are black in color at the shoulders which change to yellowish oranges as you go to the back and extremities. Fun fact; Miss Baker was a squirrel monkey who was one of the first animals successfully launched into space.
Also called bush babies, these primates reside throughout the continent of Africa. Mostly seen at night, these nocturnal creatures have large eyes, bat-like ears, long tails and very strong hind limbs, that allow them to run very quickly.
Also known as the Buffy saki, these New World monkeys are only found in the middle and upper canopies of the rainforests in Brazil. These vulnerable animals live in small groups and feed on fruits, seeds and insects on occasion.
Macaques belong to the Old-World group of monkeys and unlike other primates, the macaques social group are centered around dominant females. Although most of them feed on fruits and seeds, some of them are known for eating crab as well as small invertebrates.
These Old-World monkeys, which are natives of Eastern African countries, have black faces and long gray body hair which is fringed with white. They live in groups of up to 70 individuals and are observed to have human-like characteristics, and a distinct alarm call when predators are approaching.
Found only in the Lomami Basin of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lusulas are Old-World monkeys which were only discovered by the scientific community in 2007. This particular monkey is known for having human-like eyes, and a large patch of bare skin around its genital region.
This type of lemur was named by locals for the unique sound (shif-auk) that they make. Unlike many other lemurs, they remain upright, and move through trees by leaping. The Sifaku monkey comes in many different colors, often with the limbs and bodies in different colors.
Sun-tailed monkeys are found in the evergreen forests of Gabon, West Africa, and were only first described in 1986. The monkey’s tail goes from the color of the monkey, to white to the bright colors of the sun. Due to fragmentation and because the monkey is semi-terrestrial, it is now classified as being vulnerable.
Also called Babakoto by the natives, these lemurs are some of the largest on the island of Madagascar, weighing up to 20lbs. The critically endangered lemur’s coat is a mix of black and white, and this lemur maintains an upright posture when climbing.
The green monkey got its name because it has golden-green fur, while its tail is golden yellow. Found in the dry woodlands of West Africa and some parts of the Caribbean, these primates live in groups of 10-70 people and use facial expressions to express emotional.
Named after the country where they are found, the Philippine tarsiers are some of the smallest primates weighing 2-6 ounces and measuring 3-6 inches in height. The tarsier has a large pair of eyes and its neck allows its head to rotate 180 degrees.