Monkey Facts for Kids

Swing into the lively and playful world of monkeys, some of the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom! Monkeys are incredibly intelligent and agile animals known for their swinging tree-to-tree lifestyle and expressive faces. From the tiny pygmy marmoset to the impressive mandrill, monkeys come in various sizes and colors, each with its unique habits and characteristics. Ideal for young zoologists and animal enthusiasts, these 30 fun facts about monkeys will take you on a journey through tropical rainforests, mountainous regions, and everywhere in between where these amazing animals live. So, let’s grab a vine and swing into the exciting world of monkeys!

30 Monkey Fun Facts for Kids

  1. There are over 260 different species of monkeys.
  2. Monkeys are divided into two groups: New World monkeys (from South and Central America) and Old World monkeys (from Africa and Asia).
  3. The smallest monkey is the pygmy marmoset, which can be as small as 4.6 inches in length.
  4. The largest monkey is the male mandrill, which can weigh up to 77 pounds.
  5. Monkeys have tails, but apes, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, do not.
  6. Many monkey species are arboreal, meaning they live in trees.
  7. Monkeys use vocalizations, facial expressions, and body movements to communicate.
  8. Some monkeys, like the howler monkey, have very loud calls that can be heard for miles.
  9. Monkeys have opposable thumbs, allowing them to grab objects and perform complex tasks.
  10. The diet of monkeys varies and can include fruits, leaves, seeds, nuts, flowers, eggs, and small animals.
  11. Capuchin monkeys are known to use tools, such as stones to crack nuts.
  12. A group of monkeys is commonly referred to as a ‘troop,’ ‘barrel,’ ‘carload,’ or ‘tribe.’
  13. Baby monkeys are often carried on their mother’s back or belly.
  14. The spider monkey has a prehensile tail, which acts like a fifth limb for gripping branches.
  15. Old World monkeys have sitting pads on their rear, but New World monkeys do not.
  16. Some species of monkeys have cheek pouches to store food while they forage.
  17. Monkeys are very social animals and often groom each other to strengthen bonds and remove parasites.
  18. The Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, is known for bathing in hot springs in the winter.
  19. Proboscis monkeys have large, distinctive noses that are believed to be used to attract mates.
  20. Monkeys have been observed showing empathy, learning from each other, and solving complex problems.
  21. The golden lion tamarin monkey has bright orange fur and is native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil.
  22. The vervet monkey’s fur changes color as it ages.
  23. Most monkeys have a lifespan of 10 to 50 years, depending on the species.
  24. Monkeys play an important role in seed dispersal, helping to maintain healthy forests.
  25. The colobus monkey lacks thumbs entirely.
  26. Squirrel monkeys have the largest brain-to-body mass ratio of all the monkey species.
  27. Monkeys have a keen sense of sight and, in some species, color vision.
  28. The gelada is the only grass-eating monkey, living in the highlands of Ethiopia.
  29. Some monkey species, like the Barbary macaque, are found outside of the typical tropical environments, living in areas with snow.
  30. Monkeys are often featured in folklore and mythology in various cultures around the world.


Q: Can monkeys swim?
A: Most monkeys do not like water and do not swim, but there are a few species, like the proboscis monkey, that are good swimmers.

Q: Why do monkeys groom each other?
A: Monkeys groom each other to remove dirt and parasites from their fur, and it also helps to strengthen social bonds within their group.

Q: Are all monkeys able to hang by their tails?
A: Only some New World monkey species have prehensile tails capable of grasping and hanging from branches. Old World monkeys do not have this ability.

Q: Do monkeys eat bananas in the wild?
A: While monkeys can eat bananas, they are not a common part of their diet in the wild. Monkeys typically eat a variety of fruits, leaves, and other plant materials.

Q: How do monkeys communicate?
A: Monkeys communicate through a combination of vocalizations, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures. Different sounds and calls can convey different meanings.

Discovering the world of monkeys offers a glimpse into the intelligent and dynamic nature of these animals. Each fact reveals a different aspect of their behavior, habitat, and social structure, highlighting the diversity and adaptability.