Every year on December 14th National Monkey Day celebrates unique characteristics of simians. The day also focuses on other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs.
Monkeys, also known as simians, live all over the world. More than 260 species of monkeys populate Africa, Central America, South America and Asia. They range in size from mere ounces like the pygmy marmoset to the mandrill at a heavier 80 pounds and tend to walk on all four limbs. As a member of the primate family, they are considered a lesser ape. Most monkeys have a tail, though not all do. Monkeys are divided into two categories – Old World monkeys and New World monkeys.
Their personalities and habits capture the attention of humans on many levels. These intelligent mammals with opposable thumbs live in family groups, too. However, many species of monkeys are endangered.
HOW TO OBSERVE #Monkey Day
Discover more about these fascinating primates. Learn about monkeys who live through all kinds of weather in Nature’s Snow Monkeys. Disney’s documentary Monkey Kingdom about the monkeys of South Asia follows a family and shows us the social hierarchy that exists among the community.
Read about monkeys and their habitats. Children’s books that teach them about monkeys include:
- Meet the Howlers! by April Pulley Sayer and illustrated by Woody Miller
- Monkey Colors by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Ms. Patricia J. Wynne
- No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart
Consider donating to conservation efforts. The World Wildlife Fund combats the destruction of rainforests which is vital habitat for the black spider monkey, a vulnerable species.
Use #MonkeyDay to post on social media.
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MONKEY DAY HISTORY
A Michigan State University art student, Casey Sorrow, created National Monkey Day when he wrote Monkey Day on his friend’s calendar. A celebration followed and grew.
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