Primates belong to the order of mammals that includes ourselves, apes, monkeys and animals such as lemurs.

LemurThey are distinguished from other mammals in that they all have the following characteristics:

• Omnivorous - Primates will eat practically anything! The teeth of primates can be described as multi-purpose.
• Large brain compared to the size of their bodies.
• Five digit hands and feet that are good at manipulation, plus arms that can move easily
• Stereoscopic vision. Primates have large eyes that look straight ahead and in colour.

Primates are categorised into:

• Prosimians: These are sometimes called the 'lower primates' and include the Lemurs, Indrii, Aye-aye, Lorises, Pottos and Galagos.

• Tarisers: Small nocturnal primates living in Southeast Asia.

• Monkeys: These are split into New World Monkeys, found in South and Central America, and Old World Monkeys which are found in Africa, Asia Common Chimpanzeeand Europe.

• Apes: This group is split into the Gibbons (lesser apes) and the great apes which include chimps, orangutans, gorillas and humans.


For more information on primate classification see our Primates Family Tree  and our discussion on Primate Classification.

See Also Primate Conservation


Animal Diversity Web
Detailed, but non academic information on all primate species.

Animal Planet
Very good descriptons of a number of primates plus some great pictures.


Vast amount of animal pictures here including baboons, chimps, gorillas, lemurs, monkeys and orangutans.

Excellent resource. The website is an archive of species information and includes classifications, ranges, descriptions and more. Not just for primates but for most species. Highly recommended.

Brain Museum
Includes brain photos and brain sections plus brief physical characteristics for a number of primate species.

Colchester Sixth Form College
Useful non academic description of primate characteristics. Includes diagrams.

Enchanted Learning
Factsheets and print outs for younger children. Their extensive collection includes a number of Primate printouts

The First Primates
Very good introduction to primate evolution.

Free Jigsaw Puzzles .
Loads of online jigsaw puzzles. If you want to do a monkey jigsaw, then click on any of the links below:
Lemur Puzzle
Douc Langur

Vervet Monkey
Spider Monkey

Henry Villas Zoo
Games include a Lemur jigsaw puzzle.

Investigate Biodiversity
Direct to Primate Classifications for excellent descriptions and photos.

Monkey World
This is the children's section of Monkey World ape rescue centre in Dorset. You will find jokes, a competition, a quiz, games and animations.

National Geographic Kids
Has various activities for children, including the Print 'N' Go Colouring Book which has, amongst other animals, Chimps, Gorillas and Orangs.

Palomar College
Excellent non academic treatment of the taxonomy and general characteristics of primates, including sound files for pronunciation!

Primate Info Net
Comprehensive directory of primate information and factsheets.
Pictures and fact sheets on most primates, including a list of endangered primate species.

Sandiego Zoo
Excellent website and this section contains online animal games for young children.

San Francisco Zoo
At the San Francisco Zoo website you find some games you have to print out - crosswords, mazes, colouring pages and so on.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Further reading on primate characteristics.

Switcheroo Zoo!
Great fun! Animal morphing for younger children.

Zoo School
Simple explanation of what a primate is plus extra information on Spider Monkeys, Red Fronter Lemurs, Squirrel Monkeysm Cotton Topped Tamarins and White Handed Gibbons. Great pictures.

Zoos UK
Excellent listing of UK zoos.

And Finally ........

Monkey the TV Series
OK. Not strictly primates but one of my old favourites. You can get monkey screen savers and greetings cards from here.



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