Lemurs and monkeys, along with apes, are primates. Most primates live in trees, but a few live on the ground. We’re classified as primates, too, but you probably live in a house, not a tree! Primates usually live in groups and have families. Primates are more like humans than any other animal. Most of them have hands like ours. They can grasp trees and open things.
Primates use screeches, howls and screams to communicate with each other. The howler monkey is the loudest land animal on earth. Lemurs and monkeys are omnivores. That means they eat both plants and meat. They mostly eat plants and fruits, but sometimes they eat bugs. Yuck!
Lemurs have been around a long, long time. In fact, they are the oldest primates. They are sometimes called prosimian, which means pre-primates. They live only on the island of Madagascar. Monkeys are smart and curious. They like to swing through trees by using both their hands and their tails.
Fun Facts about Lemurs and Monkeys for Kids
- The smallest lemur is the mouse lemur. It weighs as much as a cracker. The biggest lemur is the indri lemur. It’s the size of a cat.
- One girl lemur is usually the boss. She gets to choose her mate and eat first.
- The mandrill monkey has a white nose and a long mane. This is the type of monkey in Disney’s movie, The Lion King.
- A bushbaby is a small primate. It sleeps during the day and goes out at night. It has huge eyes to help it see in the dark.
- Capuchin monkeys are really smart. They can use tools and learn new skills.
- Spider monkeys have long arms and legs, which is why they are called “spider monkeys.”
- Monkeys show affection by grooming each other.
- The Pygmy Marmoset is the smallest monkey in the world. It is 4 to 6 inches long. It weighs about as much as an apple.
Lemur and Monkey Vocabulary
- Primate: Mammals including apes, monkeys and lemurs
- Communicate: To talk or convey needs, thoughts and wants
- Prosimian: Pre-primate
- Omnivore: Eats both meat and plants
- Grooming: Combing, brushing, petting or caring for body
Learn More All About Lemurs and Monkeys
Check out this amazing video about lemurs:
A documentary video about how lemurs use millipedes to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
Lemur and Monkey Q&A
Question: What is the difference between a monkey and an ape?
Answer: Monkeys have tails; apes do not.
Question: Where do monkeys live?
Answer: Old World monkeys live in Africa and Asia. New World monkeys live in South America, Central America and Mexico.
Question: How do monkeys eat bananas?
Answer: Just like we do – by peeling them!
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