THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NEW AND OLD WORLD MONKEY
The Old World monkeys are called the Cercopithecidae which are a group of primates. They fall into the superfamily of Cercopithecoidea in the clade Catarrhini. They are found mostly in Africa and Asia but are also known to come from Europe. The Old World monkeys are unlike apes in that most of them have tails (tailed apes) when they are viewed from the superficial point of view. Their tails are never prehensile unlike the New World monkeys. The distribution of catarrhines (Old World monkeys) from the platyrrhines (New World monkeys) depends on the structure of the nose and the distinction of Old World monkeys from apes depends on dentition (1).
Most of the Old World monkeys have anatomical oddities. For example the colobus monkeys have a stub for a thumb; the Proboscis monkey has an extraordinary nose while the snub-nosed monkeys have almost no nose at all. The male Mandrill has a red coloured penis and the scrotum is a lilac colour while the face has bright coloration like the genitals. This develops only in the dominant males of a multi-male group (1).
Old World monkeys (e.g. Mandrills) are omnivores and acquires their food by foraging (mainly plants, insects and smaller animals) and the New World monkeys like to eat nuts, berries and insects (3). New World monkeys spend most of their time in trees and the Old World monkeys climb trees occasionally especially when they are going to sleep. There is no paternal care in the Old World monkeys like in the New World monkeys the offspring are looked after by their mother until they are adults. Old World monkeys have narrow noses or they do not have noses at all while the New World monkeys have flatter noses.
New World monkeys (Howler monkeys) range from 56 to 92 cm in size and have a life span of 15 to 20 years. They live in groups of about 18 individuals (4). The Old World monkeys weighs up to 30 kg and they can grow 1 m long. Old World monkeys can survive up to 25 years (3). Old World monkeys have a longer life span than the New World monkeys. Old World monkeys are more colourful than the New World monkeys.
1. Wikipedia contributors. Old World monkeys [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 11, 18:58 PTA [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World_monkey
2. Wikipedia contributors. New World monkeys [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 7, 15:12 PTA [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_monkey
3. Wikipedia contributors. Mandrill [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 8, 01:47 PTA [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandrill
4. Wikipedia contributors. Howler monkeys [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 9, 00:44 PTA [cited 2006 May 12]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howler_monkey
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