Chimpanzee Monkey

Is a chimpanzee a monkey?


Both are certainly primates, which alone may be the reason you’re asking, “Is a chimpanzee a monkey?”  However, monkeys and chimpanzees are definitely not the same animal.  They are in the same order, which is the primate order.  Monkeys and chimpanzees actually belong to different branches of the primate order.  Let’s take a closer look by examining the characteristics of each.


Chimpanzees belong to the Hominidae family, which is the same family that gorillas, orangutans, and humans belong to.  This is the reason chimpanzees have many more characteristics that are similar to humans.  Monkeys, on the other hand, include primates that are not lemurs, tarsiers, and apes.  Monkeys have their own classification within the order of the primates, which removes them from human beings by a further distance in the animal classification system.


The biggest difference between monkeys and chimpanzees is that monkeys have tails, while chimpanzees do not.  Monkeys also spend more time using all four of their limbs to walk, much like four-legged animals do.  Chimpanzees function more like humans, using their front paws like hands and their back paws like feet. 


Monkeys range widely in size, being as small as five inches long and four ounces to as large as three feet long and 77 pounds.  Chimpanzees, on the other hand, are pretty much just one main type.  Chimpanzees and the bonobo are grouped together under the genus Pan.  The two species make up the entire Pan genus.  The common chimp can be up to five and a half feet tall when standing and weight over 150 pounds.  The chimpanzee is really a specific species of animal, while the monkey can be broken down further into different species of monkeys.   Essentially, the chimpanzee is an exact type of animal, while there are many different kinds of monkeys.  This is also why the size of a monkey ranges so widely, depending entirely on what kind of monkey it is.


Both monkeys and chimpanzees eat an omnivorous diet, which means they eat both plants and animals.  The habitat of both types of animal also differs very widely.  Some species of monkeys live in trees, and others live on the plains.  Chimpanzees, however, spend equal time on land and in trees. 


Another interesting note is the social behavior of each of these animals.  Chimpanzees tend to have more complex relationships than monkeys do, which reveals even more their similarity to humans.  Chimpanzees show signs of mourning when another chimp dies, romance when they’re trying to mate, and more.  However, monkeys are a bit more like a pet for humans.  They also work very well as service animals for the disabled.  They behave more like animals and less like humans than chimpanzees do.  


Chimpanzees and monkeys are quite similar to each other, but it’s important to understand the differences of these species before you can truly answer the question, “Is a chimpanzee a monkey?”



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