Primate Lower Classifications: Old World Monkeys Facts Revealed! | Kidadl


Primate Lower Classifications: Old World Monkeys Facts Revealed!

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The phrase 'primitive primates' means 'first in order', and this term comes from Latin and it translates to 'first rank'.

There is some incredible primate evolution that can be seen, a result of which is New World monkeys. Old World monkeys are earlier primates, which are very different to modern primates which are seen today.

The natural history of the world is very diverse and evolution is the key that has unlocked so many surprises that we see today. Primates of the lower primates were seen initially around 87 million years ago. In the past, primates were animals which slowly started living in trees and adapted to many changes slowly. Most monkeys have evolved from these primates. Although, it is not just monkeys, there are many other living species which are part of this group.

When we talk about the primate group, we are talking about 500 plus species, causing primates to be very diverse. They come under the order of mammals and most primates are apes. Their heads are larger and their hands are well equipped to help them climb trees. All of us share a common ancestor with apes, and knowledge about human evolution which once began from apes is no surprise to anyone.

There are some features that are common in all primates, although body size varies, their nails and feet and grabbing abilities are remarkably the same. The same abilities helped earlier primates to not just live but to survive for billions of years and today they are known as what we call higher primates. Most animals which we see in present day, which are well equipped with their ability to climb and grab onto trees, are closely related to these older primates, even though they may not be from the same genus. When looking for differences and similarities between monkeys, apes, and humans, there are many similarities that come into the picture, supporting the theory that humans have evolved from apes. However, many primates face the threat of extinction in today's world. Most mammals are usually mistaken as primates and sometimes people think of only monkeys and apes when they hear the word primates. Primates are any mammals that have a large head with a good conscience. They are smart, however they are are slow and don't mature as quickly compared to other mammals. Their slow maturity rewards them with another benefit, long life. Primates used to mostly live in certain regions and they still prefer to live in tropical regions. A few subtropical lands are also known to be home to a number of living primates.

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What are the three main groups of living primates?

The living primates that we have today fall into three main groups. These are prosimians, Old World monkeys, and New World monkeys. Monkeys such as howler monkeys, lesser apes, and titi monkeys come under the Haplorhini suborder.

Modern-day homo sapiens and modern lemurs are very different. In order to study primates easily, a simple classification was created. The classification was based on the genus and fossil evidence, helping researchers to study the order of primates in detail. The biological order of genus homo is also divided in a similar manner. Under primates, there are three categories, each of which presents different groups of closely related animals. To explain New World Monkeys and Old World monkeys, the most simple classification for these primates was created.

The first group of primates is prosimians. Prosimians are known to be the oldest primates, meaning they are the earliest primates to exist. They include mouse lemurs and tarsiers. This classification also helps to support the idea that monkeys, apes, and humans are more similar to each other than we think.

The second includes great apes, monkeys, and apes. These are all different from each other and are not the same living species. Great apes count for humans and gorillas and even chimpanzees along with bonobos and orangutans. This just shows how closely related these species are. Species such as African apes come in the first suborder with humans, given their similarity with humans, which is still a topic of debate among many people.

The third group covers all monkeys. We can count owl monkeys and New World Monkeys in this classification, even some other species such as squirrel monkeys and langurs are members of this group. The other accounts for small apes, which also are very similar but smaller, and their body anatomy is a little different. This category includes gibbons and other smaller apes.

What are the three distinguishing characteristics of primates?

The group of primates has around 500 plus species and today that group has evolved into modern primates. Thanks to evolution, there are a lot of differences between older primates and newer primates. However, there are few characteristics which almost every primate has which sets them apart from mammals.

The most common characteristic between earlier primates and current-day primates is their inclination towards tropical and subtropical regions. Current day primates still prefer to live in such regions and haven't adapted to others, despite their incredible habit of adapting and bearing changes. Africa and Southeast Asia along with regions such as India are the most preferable regions for these species.

Although when it comes to distinguishing primates from mammals, there are a number of features that help. Mammals have a heightened sense of smell, which cannot be seen in primates. All primates have hands and have five fingers which are accompanied by nails. These features developed because primates started living in trees and the nails helped them to climb. Mammals do not have any of these features. Mammals have claws which they use to hunt, and they also have sharp nails, which helps some mammals to climb trees but they cannot live in trees.

When it comes to primates, their eyes are placed on the face in such a way that means their eyes are forward-faced, providing good acute vision. Mammals lack this and their vision isn't forward-faced. Primates take more time to mature and do not age as fast, whereas mammals age fast. This means mammals have shorter lifespans compared to primates. Primates have much bigger lifespans, almost six to seven times that of an average mammal.

Mammals also don't have such large heads or as large brains compared to primates. Primates are known for their intelligence. However not every primate is similar. There are 1oo plus species under this group and almost every species is different from one another in some way or another. Primates have been living on this planet for the past 60 million years, and each species has evolved and adapted in some way.

Over time, primates have evolved extra features to help them with the everyday life. They also have opposable thumbs.

What traits are common to all primates?

Primates are one of the most diverse groups that can be seen. This group has a number of species and the species greatly vary from one another. Humans to lemurs, every species falls under primates. There are a lot differences, however, some features are similar in all primates.

Theories suggest that humans have evolved from apes. This is accepted widely because of bodily similarities that are found among humans and monkeys. However, those aren't the only set of similarities that all primates have. There are also several differences but the common traits which all primates share are incredible.

Almost all primates are known for their expertise in climbing trees and their five toes. That's right, all primates have five toes. Primates also have four limbs which help them to climb trees and balance.

Primates have adapted to living in subtropical areas and climbing up trees. Their shoulders evolved to be able to climb trees. They all have great shoulders which offer them support when it comes to climbing. Primates do not have a very good sense of smell, however homo sapiens do. Some primates species are unable to smell at all.

The main similarity in this group is their large brains which are comparatively bigger than other body parts. All the species of this group are incredibly smart and mindful. The acute vision is also a similarity, and the design of the head which puts the eyes in a forward fashion is common among this group.

What separates humans from other primates?

Humans are a part of the group of primates, they share a number of features with other species which falls in this group and are very similar to apes. They lie in the great apes category.

There are a lot of things which make humans different to these members of this group. Humans do not have as much hair on their bodies compared to other primates, such as monkeys and apes. Humans also have a bigger brain and their face is way smaller compared to their cranium. However, a striking difference is humans are bipedal, whereas other primates are quadrupedal, meaning they walk on four legs, whereas humans walk on two legs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked learning about Primate lower classifications: Old World monkey facts revealed, then why not take a look at Vertebrate vs invertebrate: curious animal differences facts for kids, or Cute Morkie lifespan: purr-fect designer dog breed facts to know!

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