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Interesting Monkey Facts For Kids 2024 (Must Read!)

Oh monkeys are naughty creatures, who love to play around and terrorize people and other animals!

Although they may seem like tricksters, monkeys are actually highly intelligent creatures. 

Did you know that a monkey is a primate and they belong to the suborder of Haplorhines?

Now that’s a big word to get your head around!

Monkeys live in jungles. 

There is a common misconception that monkeys love and only eat bananas, but that is actually not true! They eat a variety of foods from insects to seeds to fruits. 

monkeys for kids

Quick Monkey Facts

  • Monkeys are just as intelligent as young children.
  • Monkeys can transmit illnesses to humans.
  • The night monkey is a more enduring nickname for the owl monkey.
  • Apes and monkeys are related but not the same.
  • Monkeys use grooming routines to communicate with one another.
  • Exotic pets like monkeys are quite trendy.
  • The thumbs of all monkeys are opposable
  • Monkeys are immune to the common cold.

Interesting Monkey Facts for Kids

  • Monkeys are primates, like humans. Primates have bigger brains than the rest of their bodies, which accounts for their higher intelligence. This is why monkeys are said to be smarter than most other primates. 
  • Most world monkeys live in tropical regions. New World monkeys can be found close to the Amazon rainforest, while Old World monkeys live in rainforests, savannas, and mountains in Asia and Africa. 
  • Did you know that a group of world monkeys is called a troop? Troops live and travel together in search of food. Traveling in troops also protects them from predators. 
  • Humans aren’t the only primates with thumbs. Some Old World and New World monkeys have opposable thumbs that help them hold onto food and tree branches. Some other animals like koalas and chimpanzees also have opposable thumbs. 
  • Squirrel monkeys make the most distinctive sounds, by far. They tend to be the most vocal monkeys, making a series of purrs, screams and other sounds. They can make up to 26 unique sounds. 
  • The Howler monkeys are the loudest land animals in the world. They can be heard from up to 3 miles away! 
  • Don’t you love hot baths on a cold day? Well, it turns out that monkeys do too! The Japanese Macaques or Snow Monkeys travel in troops to the volcanic hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan for a relaxing bath. Studies have found that these baths help reduce stress in monkeys. 
  • Capuchins are the smartest of all kinds of monkeys because they use tools. It is known that they have been making and using tools for over 3000 years. For example, they use their tools to crack open hard nuts. They’re even able to change the size of the tool depending on the size of the nut they want to crack.  
  • Did you know that humans weren’t the first primates to go to space? It was actually a monkey named Albert I. He took off on June 11, 1948, from New Mexico. Scientists sent Albert I to space to make sure it was safe for living beings to travel to space. 
  • Monkeys do not sleep lying down. To protect themselves from predators, they find a high branch and sleep sitting up. They sleep a little more than us humans do, for 9.5 hours. Nocturnal night monkeys like owl monkeys sleep for as long as 17 hours. 
  • The Myanmar monkeys’ noses are quite different from the other species of monkeys. They have upturned noses and when it rains, the raindrops enter their nostrils, causing them to sneeze uncontrollably. This gets so bad that they have to tuck their heads between their noses when it’s rainy or foggy. 
  • Monkeys show their affection by grooming. The bond of the troop is strengthened by acts like picking dirt, debris, and bugs off of their companions’ fur. This is not only for personal hygiene reasons but also a way of showing affection and love. It is the same as humans giving hugs to the ones they care about. 
  • The largest monkey in the world is a Mandrill. Mandrills can be found in the rainforests of Africa. They are very distinguishable due to their red and blue faces and colorful rumps. These colors become even brighter when they’re excited. 
  • Spider monkeys are super friendly. They are so sociable that if they’re captured and kept by themselves, they die of loneliness. This is why it’s common to see them in groups of 40 and 50 in the wild. 
  • Monkeys can be found on every continent except Antarctica! This is how common they are! Can you name the other 6 continents and a few kinds of monkeys?
  • There is a type of monkey that can run as fast as a racehorse! The Patatas are the fastest primates, with the ability to go from zero to 33 miles per hour in just three seconds!
  • How do you say hello to your friends? By waving your hand? Well, the White-Faced Capuchin monkeys have a much more interesting way of greeting their companions. They stick their fingers up each others’ noses! 
  • Remember how we told you that Capuchins are really smart? Well, Ayla the Capuchin monkey is so smart that she attends Monkey College! She lives at a school that trains other Capuchins to assist disabled people with tasks they can’t do themselves. 
  • Monkeys are really good at remembering routes! This comes in really handy when they travel from one part of the forest to another. Guess these guys never have to stop and ask for directions!
  • Owl monkeys are nocturnal, so they have eyes that can help them see in the dark to keep them safe from predators and to help search for food. To communicate with each other, they use their unique scents. 

Species of Monkey

There are around 260 monkey species in the world. Most monkeys live in trees except for a few who seem to prefer the ground like baboons.

In general, monkeys are thought of as highly intelligent animals.

Do you think they’re as clever as us? Here are some facts about the different species of monkey.

Most species of monkeys have tails except for the mighty ape. There are around 260 monkey species in the world. Most of them live in trees except for a few who seem to prefer the ground like baboons.

There are a few characteristics that are shared by most species. For example there are New World Monkeys and Old World monkeys.

New World monkeys have tails that can grasp and hold things, but Old World monkeys don’t have this.

That’s pretty cool having such a strong and handy tail!

monkeys for kids

It’s quite easy to see the difference between Old World and New World monkeys just by their faces, which look rather different from each other.

The only things that are similar are their noses, cheeks and forward facing eyes.

Old World monkeys are found in Africa and New World monkeys are found in South America.

Apes are sometimes mistaken for monkeys but they actually aren’t monkeys. 

How Big Are Monkeys?

The length of monkeys range from 5 to 6 inches (140 to 160 mm) including their tails.

They weigh about 4 to 5 ounces, which is about 120 to 140 grams.

But there are some bigger species too that are 3.3 feet long (1 meter) and can weigh up to 77 pounds (35 kilograms). 

monkey eating food

What Do Monkeys Eat?

Monkeys of all types have completely different diets, but the most common food that all of them eat are seeds, flowers, eggs, fruits, leaves, nuts, and small insects including spiders.

They’ll pretty much eat anything that smells good, or bad…

They are very, very sociable and they have a mostly friendly attitude towards humans. Some of them though are a bit naughty as they can cause a lot of damage to crops. They’re seen as pests.

Monkeys mostly live in jungles.

Related: check out why gorillas are Kings of the Jungle!

Gorillas are the Kings of the Jungle

Spider Monkeys and Proboscis

Howler monkeys live in groups known as troops. In the group, only one male monkey is known to howl in the morning.

Monkeys are loud, very loud! You can hear the booming sound of monkeys from about 1 mile (1.6 km) away.

One of the monkey species is called a spider monkey. Want to know why? Well this is because it has a really long tail and spidery limbs.

Imagine a monkey looking like a spider! They can walk on two legs across the tree tops. Cool! Their tail also helps them to swing, just like Tarzan!

The monkeys with the longest noses are called proboscis.

They are only found on the south of the continent of Australia and the island of Borneo.

proboscis monkey

Monkeys are very sneaky sometimes! In cities like Bangkok they like to steal food from wherever they can find it. Watch out if you’re ever there!

Now this is quite something…monkeys have feelings, just like us. They can feel love, fear, and compassion.

They can also hate things too…so be aware and make sure to keep on their good side.

This is cute. Monkeys hold hands and groom each other with lots of affection and love.

Larger monkeys are strong and super speedy. They have sharp claws that can actually kill.

Monkeys in Groups

Monkeys work in groups when they’re on the hunt for some yummy food.

There’s always a leader who gathers the food, while the other monkeys stand guard.

monkeys in a group

They speak their own language and alert each other to danger.

But sometimes a leader will be a bit of a liar. If he’s found some food he likes, he’ll warn the others that there’s danger and keep it all for him. That’s not so cool.

Now you know all about the world of monkeys!

They are super cute, yet super naughty too. But remember they’re very clever, so watch out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is special about a monkey?

Monkeys are intelligent animals that are good at problem solving. They care for their companions and are really good at searching for food. 

How smart is a monkey?

Monkeys are extremely smart and have the basic intelligence of a human 3-year-old. They are able to solve puzzles and understand abstract concepts quickly once they are shown an example. Some species even have the ability to use tools. 

What animal has the highest IQ ever?

Chimpanzees are the animals with the highest IQ ever. They can learn to use tools and manipulate their surroundings to suit their needs. They have even outsmarted humans many times. 

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