Monkey Business: Exploring The Fascinating World Of New World Monkeys

New World Monkeys

Monkey Business: Exploring The Fascinating World Of New World Monkeys


The New World monkeys are a diverse group of arboreal primates that inhabit a range of forest habitats, from Mexico to Argentina. You can read more about these fascinating primates in this article.

The species of New World monkeys are Marmosets, Tamarins, Squirrel monkeys, and Uakaris. In addition to being extremely fun to watch, these animals make excellent pets.


The family of New World monkeys, Callitrichidae, contains marmosets, tamarins, and lion tamarins.


Historically, the family was thought of as a subfamily of the Cebidae, but that is no longer the case. Marmosets are one of the most well-known primates.

Marmosets live in Central America and South America, while lion tamarins are found in the rainforests of Africa and Asia.

The name marmoset comes from a French word that means “shrimp.” It refers to the smallest true monkey. Their lower teeth are used to gnaw tree bark and drink its sap.

Both tree sap and nectar are valuable to marmosets. This makes them an excellent choice for pets and research. Marmosets are considered among the most adorable monkey species, so if you’d like to see them in their natural habitat, consider making a donation.

Unlike most monkeys, marmosets’ reproductive habits are suppressed. This is done by a cooperative breeding system that prevents sexual behavior and ovulation in all females.

The reproductive suppression process is probably accomplished through pheromonal signals from the breeding female and non-specific behavioral cues.

When captive callitrichids encounter a disturbance in their environment, they exhibit high levels of aggression and excessive arousal.


Like most monkeys, tamarins are gregarious and social creatures.


They live in social groups of three to nine members and form short-term associations with each other. These groups may be as large as 19 members.

They form groups with clearly defined boundaries and have complex vocal repertoires consisting of 38 distinct sounds that conform to grammatical rules.

Tamarins use vocalizations to convey emotions such as fear, curiosity, playfulness, and warnings. Marmosets and tamarins live in social groups, although they are smaller than marmosets.

Tamarins and marmosets often live in larger groups than do tamarins, and callitrichids are unusual in several ways.

Their reproductive systems vary, and they exhibit polygyny and polyandry. Groups of callitrichids consist of a breeding female and up to two nonbreeding males.

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These nonbreeding males assist with infant care. In addition, marmosets and tamarins share nesting territories. While some species exhibit no soliciting behavior, they are known to engage in “callitrichid” mating behavior.

While callitrichids are very territorial, they display high levels of threat in crowded colonies. Some species have also been shown to suffer high rates of infant loss and abortion when captive-bred.

In addition, the proximity of neighboring groups may cause a high incidence of chronic arousal.

Squirrel Monkeys

Squirrel monkeys inhabit tropical forests in Central and South America, residing in the canopy layer.

squirrel monkeys

Although most species of squirrel monkeys live in the Amazon, S. Oerstedii is disjunctly distributed throughout Costa Rica.

Its name ‘miss Baker’ refers to an ‘astronaut’ squirrel monkey, which rode into space as part of the United States space program. Its short, close fur is yellowish orange or black on the back and shoulders. The upper body is hairy.

Squirrel monkeys form multi-female groups, which sometimes exceed 500 members. They feed in large groups, but can sometimes break up into smaller groups.

Despite the fact that females outnumber males, the society of this species revolves around the females, who control territorial disputes and the spatial relations among troop members.

A male’s role in a troop’s life depends on his ability to attract females. Common Squirrel Monkeys are similar in appearance to their larger counterparts.

Their ears are rounded, while their eyes are white. They have a black widow’s peak above their nose and short, dense fur on their bodies.

They lack prehensile tails, but their long, soft tail is useful for climbing high branches. These monkeys have a long tail that often rests over the shoulder.


If you’ve ever wondered about the biology of uakaris, you’ve come to the right place.


These New World monkeys are particularly vulnerable to blood-borne parasites. Their highest infection rates were among all other NWMs.

Moreover, the species is prone to trypanosomatids, which have 100% infection rates in wild populations. Moreover, their facial coloration may indicate the physiological effects of parasites.

Uakaris are arboreal quadrupeds that prefer to traverse the middle and upper portions of the forest canopy. As a result, they rarely move on two feet and instead, jump and run between branches and supports.

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The young of this species begin eating soft fruit between the age of three and five months. In captivity, they may live into their mid-thirties.

The uakari, whose name is also spelled ouakari, inhabit the rainforests at all levels and rarely touch the ground. They live in social groups of up to 30 members and are better adapted to leaping between branches than descending to the ground.

Female uakaris are territorial and give birth to a single offspring every two years. Their gestation period is about 180 days.

The uakaris are specialized seed predators, which live in larger groups of twenty to thirty individuals. They look similar to saki monkeys but have shorter tails and specialized teeth.

The red uakaris are particularly noticeable in their appearance, with a red face and a bald face. Their black-headed counterparts are less striking, with white fur and a vermilion face.

White-Faced Saki

While the White-faced Saki is a monogamous species, in the wild, they may form polygamous pairs or even have several mates.

white-faced saki

These monkeys are protected by conservation status Least Concern, but the pet trade has reduced their numbers. Learn more about this fascinating species and all of its interesting facts in the following paragraphs. Read on to learn more about these beautiful monkeys!

The white-faced saki is a unique species based on its diet. Most frugivorous species eat only ripe fruits, while the white-faced saki prefers unripe fruits.

As such, they occupy a unique ecological niche. But, their unusual diet may explain their bizarre behavior. They also eat seeds, so they’re not just eating fruit that’s been ripe.

While the White-faced saki is also known as the golden-faced saki, the two species differ in their size. Males are slightly smaller than females, with males weighing 5.25 lb (2.38 kg), while females are slightly lighter.

In fact, the male white-faced saki is slightly larger than the female, but they have similar physical features. While the White-faced saki is a rare sight in the wild, it is easy to find captive examples, as they are difficult to reintroduce to their native habitat.

However, these monkeys are well-suited as family pets. Their habitat ranges in rainforests in the forests of South America. They prefer trees that produce a wide variety of fruits and seeds, and they live at canopy heights of 50 to 80 feet.

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New World monkeys are members of the Platyrrhini taxonomic family.


They separated from Old World monkeys and apes around 40 million years ago. They are thought to have spread to the Americas by island hopping or on rafts of vegetation.

Extant species are divided into five families and twenty genera. Several taxa are subject to change, however. Although most New World monkeys are not aggressive, they are capable of delivering a sharp bite when threatened.

They may try to explore human habitats or climb on them. When frightened or pushed away, these animals may bite vigorously.

In addition, if they have previously been housed as pets, they may develop a strong attachment to humans and may even bite to “defend” their favored people.

Unlike Old World monkeys, New World monkeys are more likely to live in forests with thick vegetation. Their dense forest habitats also provide excellent food sources. They live in a variety of habitats in South and Central America, including the Caribbean and the Amazon.

Although they may seem small, they are among the smallest anthropoid primates. New-World monkeys can range from less than a kilogram to ten kilograms.

They are isolated radiation, but they provide important living analogs to reconstruct extinct primates. Cebid monkeys are arboreal tree dwellers.

They feed on fruits and leaves, and also on birds’ eggs and bark-dwelling insects. The only New World monkeys that are nocturnal are night monkeys.

All other New World monkeys are diurnal. You can’t really expect a monkey to feed you in captivity unless you want to risk exposing your family to disease.

Types Of New World Monkeys

Rank Family Examples
1 Callitrichidae Marmosets, tamarins
2 Cebidae Capuchins, squirrel monkeys
3 Aotidae Night monkeys
4 Pitheciidae Titis, sakis, uakaris
5 Atelidae Howler, spider, woolly spider, woolly monkeys

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