Monkeys are haplorhine ("dry-nosed") primates, a paraphyletic taxonomic group generally possessing tails and consisting of approximately 260 known living species. 

Many monkey species are tree-dwelling (arboreal), although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Most species are also active during the day (diurnal). Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent, particularly Old World monkeys.

There are two major types of monkey: New World monkeys (platyrrhines) from South and Central America and Old World monkeys (catarrhines of the superfamily Cercopithecoidea) from Africa and Asia.


Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)t, a new world monkey. image:Raimond Spekking/wikipedia 


An Olive Baboon ,Old world monkey. image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/ wikipedia

A group of monkeys may be commonly referred to as a tribe or a troop.

 Hominoid apes (gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans), which all lack tails, are also catarrhines but are not considered monkeys. 

Tailless monkeys may be called "apes", incorrectly according to modern usage; thus the tailless Barbary macaque is sometimes called the "Barbary ape”.

 Because old world monkeys are more closely related to hominoid apes than to new world monkeys, yet the term "monkey" excludes these closer relatives, monkeys are referred to as a paraphyletic group

Simians ("monkeys") and tarsiers emerged within haplorrhines some 60 million years ago. New world monkeys and catarrhine monkeys emerged within the simians some 35 millions years ago. 

Old world monkeys and Hominoidea emerged within the catarrhine monkeys some 25 millions years ago. Extinct basal simians such as Aegyptopithecus or Parapithecus [35-32 Million years ago] are also considered monkeys by primatologists.

Source adapted from Monkey. (2016, January 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:37, February 17, 2016, from