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Difference between Monkey and Lemur

Monkey and lemur both belong to the same order Primates. Although monkey and lemur may look similar on the outside, they still have many differences. Let us study these animals in detail so that we could easily differentiate one from another!

Monkey:

Monkeys belong to the order Primates. They are more diverse than lemurs and are classified into two different types: old world monkey (Asia and Africa) and new world monkeys (South America) based on the geographical regions where they are found. There are more than 260 existing species of monkeys that vary greatly in size, e.g. the smallest species is Pygmy Marmoset which stands only 140 millimeters tall and weighs around 4-5 ounce; the largest species is Mandrill which stands around 1 meter tall and weighs around 35 kg.

Monkeys are highly adapted for the arboreal life as they can easily climb and leap among trees. They are mostly omnivorous as they can feed on fruits, nuts, vegetables, insects, birds, etc. They have binocular vision like humans and five digits including an opposable thumb in each limb for a firm grip. The average life span of monkeys ranges from 12 to 45 years. They use different types of noises, facial expressions, and body movements to communicate with one another.

Lemur:

Lemurs belong to the order Primates and are the native to the island of Madagascar, located at the south east-coast of Africa. There are 10 species of lemur in this island. They are characterized by their large, round reflective eyes and their howling screams. They also have hairy, pointed ears and long tails.

The most commonly known species of lemur is ring-tailed lemur which has distinct black and white ring markings on the tail. An adult ring-tailed lemur can measure upto 42.5 cm or 1.4 ft in length and weighs around 2.2 Kg. Its average life span is 16 to 19 years in the wild. The lemurs are omnivorous as they can feed on berries, nuts, fruits, insects, spiders etc. The female lemurs run their societies. The black lemurs are the only non-human primates that have blue eyes.

Based on the above facts, some of the key differences between monkey and lemur are as follows:

Monkey Lemur
They live in dry savannah area mostly in Africa. They are mostly found in Madagascar off the south-east coast of Africa.
During a shortage of food, monkeys are less likely to slow down their metabolism and may eat dirt if they have to. During a shortage of food, lemurs slow down their metabolism.
Pygmy marmoset is the smallest monkey in the world. Mouse lemur is the smallest lemur in the world.
Mandrill is the heaviest or largest monkey in the world. Indri is the largest lemur in the world.
They are more diverse than lemurs in terms of the number of species, body size and shape. They are less diverse than monkeys in terms of the species, body size and shape.
Monkeys are generally found all over the world. Lemurs are found in the island of Madagascar, Africa.
Monkeys do not have blue eyes. Other than humans, only black lemurs have blue eyes.
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