Primates (Apes, Monkeys and Prosimians)

Many people call all primates monkeys, when in fact apes and monkeys are two kinds of animals under the classification of primate. They may look similar, but when you start to learn more about them, it becomes apparent there are many differences between monkeys and apes. Which animals are monkeys, and which are apes?

Apes and humans differ from all of the other primates in that they lack external tails.  They are also more intelligent and more dependent for survival on learned behavior patterns.  There are several internal body differences as well, such as the absence of an appendix in monkeys, the shoulder anatomy of apes and humans also differs from other primates. The lower molar teeth of apes and humans have five cusps, or raised points, on their grinding surfaces.  This is known as a Y-5 pattern because the area between the cusps roughly is in the shape of the letter Y.  Monkeys only have four cusps on their lower molars. 

“There are many many differences between monkeys and apes. But let’s list some basics to remember right now. . There are only a small number of types of apes, while there are over a hundred types of monkeys. Latesl focus more on apes”


primate is a mammal of the biological order Primates which contains prosimians and simians. Primates and Apes arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests; With the exception of humans, who inhabit every continent, most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and America. According to fossil evidence, the primitive ancestors of primates may have existed in the late geologic period and system around 65 million years ago;


Apes and humans differ from all of the other primates in that they lack external tails.The apes and humans are members of the same superfamily, the Hominoidea.  Subsequently, apes are referred to as Old World anthropoid mammals, more specifically a clade of tailless catarrhine primates.  Until the last few years, humans were separated into their own family within this superfamily because it was believed that we are significantly different from the apes.  However, recent genetic studies and discoveries from the fossil record have made it clear that some of the apes are more similar to humans than previously believed. 


There are many kinds of monkeys and they have the most variation among the Primates, Monkeys themselves are divided into two large categories: Old World Monkeys and New World Monkeys.

Old World Monkeys: Old World monkeys live in Africa and Asia, They make the familyCercopithecinae. They are larger than the New World monkeys. They are diurnal, and are physically different as well. Old world monkeys have:

New World Monkeys live in Central and South America.These monkeys live in the neotropical forests of the “new world”.New World Monkeys range vastly in size – some are quite tiny, like the 6 inch pygmy marmoset, and some are larger – the howler monkey can be up to 3 feet in length.


There is one other kind of primate that people may not be aware of, the Prosimainssometimes they are referred to as “pre-monkeys“. There name means “before monkeys”


WHICH IS THE BEST PLACE TO SEE MOUNTAIN GORILLA and to do Gorilla Habituation Experience Safaris ?

Out of the 880 mountain gorillas found in the world, The 400 mountain gorillas which were confirmed are entirely in Uganda and this means that Uganda is the host to more than a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.


The best place and highest in gorilla breeding is Uganda

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Who are Primates ?

Primates include the most familiar of the placental mammals, because they include us, Homo sapiens . Primates also include familiar animals, such as the chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys, as well as the somewhat less familiar lemurs, lorises, galagos, pottos, sifakas, indris, aye-ayes, and tarsiers


About Mountain Gorilla

Uganda and Rwanda offer the most stimulating and rewarding Mountain gorillas trekking experience as this is where in the world you will find the endangered Mountain Gorillas. According to the latest Gorillas population census, it indicates that Uganda protects more than half of the remaining 700 endangered mountain gorillas. The remaining half is found in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Apes Vs Monkeys
  • Apes are usually larger and heavier than monkeys.
  • Apes have no tail.
  • Apes have a broad chest.
  • Apes have a large brain to body size ratio compared with other animals.
  • Apes rely on vision rather than smell, and thus have shorter noses than some monkeys.
  • Apes only live in Africa and Asia while as monkeys also live in South America.
  • Apes have a more upright body posture than monkeys.
  • Apes are often able to walk on 2 legs.

There are a few exceptions to these rules; there are some monkeys without tails, and there are some large monkeys. But overall, those are general characteristics to remember about apes and monkeys.