10Best: Monkeys of the World (and Where to Find Them!)

  • Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin from Brazil

    Native to Brazil, the Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin is only about the size of a squirrel. These cute monkeys got blamed unfairly for carrying diseases like malaria and yellow fever, and today they're endangered as a consequence. See them for yourself at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

    Photo courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar

  • Proboscis Monkey from Borneo

    Borneo, besides being home to the world's smallest frog and the world's largest bug, is also home to one of the world's strangest-looking monkeys, the proboscis monkey. You'll know one of these guys when you see one by its giant, bulbous nose and big belly. The endangered monkeys use their large noses to amplify their mating calls. If you can't make it to Borneo, you can see these monkeys in captivity at the Singapore Zoo.

    Photo courtesy of Peter Gronemann

  • Tarsier from Bohol, Philippines

    The species of big-eyed tarsier native to the Philippines is one of the smallest primates on earth. The Tarsier uses its extremely long hind legs to leap from tree to tree. They're most active at night, when they hung for insects from the trees. The best place to see a tarsier is on the island of Bohol at the Philippine Tasier and Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Photo courtesy of Keren Tan

  • Capuchin Monkeys – Hollywood's Primate of Choice

    When Hollywood needs to cast a monkey, like in Pirates of the Caribbean, they nearly always use Capuchin monkeys. These extremely intelligent primates have long been observed using tools in the wild and are even trained by the organization Helping Hands to assist individuals with disabilities. You can watch these monkeys in action at zoos all over the world, from San Diego to Edinburgh.

    Photo courtesy of Sang Trinh

  • Pygmy Marmosets of South America

    If you want to see the world's smallest monkey in its natural habitat, you'll have to venture to South America where they live high in the rainforest canopy. These little creatures often go their entire lives without ever touching the ground, instead clinging to trees and feeding on sap and insects. See them at the National Zoo or the Philadelphia Zoo.

    Photo courtesy of Paul Morris

  • Javan Lutung Monkey from Java

    Native to the island of Java in Indonesia, the Javan Lutung is known for its prominent sideburns and bedhead look. This social species tends to congregate in groups, and you can see one such group of them at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

    Photo courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim

  • Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey of China

    Primatologists aren't sure why exactly the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey has such a flat nose, but some surmise it's to prevent frostbite in the frigid winters of Central China. While they might look cute an innocent, a large group of them can fend off predators as large as leopards. See them in the Beijing Zoo.

    Photo courtesy of su neko

  • Emperor Tamarin of South America

    Emperor Tamarins are characterized by their long, white mustaches and are rumored to have gotten their names from the mustached Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. They usually live in groups of four with one female and three males, and the females always give birth to twins. If you want to see one, visit the Los Angeles Zoo.

    Photo courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar

  • Squirrel Monkey of the Amazon

    The Squirrel Monkey has white rings of fur around its dark eyes. This particular group of monkeys, the most common in South America, spend most of their lives moving in large groups from tree to tree, feeding on insects, fruits, nuts and sometimes small birds. See a group of squirrel monkeys at the Oakland Zoo.

    Photo courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar

  • Japanese Macaque – The Snow Monkey

    The pink-faced Japanese Macaque, or Japanese Snow Monkey, lives throughout Japan, particularly in the snowy areas of the Nagano Mountains. In the winters, you can see them seeking warmth by bathing in the natural hot springs of the area. See them – minus the hot springs – at the Central Park Zoo.

    Photo courtesy of Wajimacallit