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A gelada (Theropithecus gelada) in the Ethiopian highlands. Photo: Sascha Knauf

Monkeys are fascinating – not only are their physical appearance similar to that of humans, they are also intelligent and live in complex societies – they are related to us and ultimately belong to the same order – primates. On the following webpages you will find information on the characteristics of primates, evolution and diversity as well as threats to primates.

What is a primate?

Primates cannot be characterized by a single feature but, a combination of features to allow for the containment of the order.

More on the features of primates

Evolution and diversity of non-human primates

Whether ground or tree dwelling, singing or roaring, camouflaged or conspicuously colored – primates are diverse. All primate species including humans have evolved from a common ancestor approximately 80 million years ago.

Evolution and diversity of non-human primates

Endangered non-human primates

62 percent of the world’s non-human primates are currently threatened. The proportion of endangered species varies by region. The most threatened areas are Madagascar and Southeast Asia.

More on endangered non-human primates