MonkeyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses, see Monkey (disambiguation).
A monkey is any nonhuman primate, with the usual exception of the lemurs and tarsiers. Thus defined, there are three type of monkeys: (1) non-human hominoids (also known as apes), (2) old world monkeys, and (3) new world monkeys. However, only the latter two are currently considered "monkeys" by most biologists. There are about 280 known living species of monkey (260 if non-human hominoids are excluded). Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, old and new world monkeys usually have tails. Tailless monkeys may be called "apes", incorrectly according to most modern biologists; thus the tailless Barbary macaque is called the "Barbary ape".The New World monkeys (superfamily Ceboidea) are classified within the parvorder of Platyrrhini, whereas the Old World monkeys (superfamily Cercopithecoidea) form part of the parvorder Catarrhini, which also includes the hominoids (apes and humans). Thus, as Old World monkeys are more closely related to hominoids than they are to New World monkeys, the monkeys are not a unitary (monophyletic) group, and thus there is no scientific basis for biologists currently excluding non-human hominoids from the monkey category.Contents[hide]1 Historical and modern terminology2 Physical description3 Classification4 Relationship with humans4.1 As service animals for the disabled4.2 In experiments4.2.1 In space4.3 As food4.4 Literature & pop culture4.5 Religion and worship4.6 Zodiac5 See also6 References7 External linksHistorical and modern terminologyThe scientific definition of "monkey" has evolved over the centuries. 19th century scientists viewed gorillas as a superior form of monkeyAccording to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word "monkey" may originate in a German version of the Reynard the Fox fable, published circa 1580. In this version of the fable, a character named Moneke is the son of Martin the Ape. In English, no very clear distinction was originally...