Primate Playtime

Our Primate Pals

 

Did you know that you are a primate? This is a special group of mammals that includes lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and yes, humans! There are some differences between us and our primate pals, but we also have some things in common.

 

PrimatesMembers of the most highly developed order of animals, including humans, monkeys, and apes. have big brains. Of course, really big animals like elephants have large brains, but what makes primatesMembers of the most highly developed order of animals, including humans, monkeys, and apes. special is that their brain is really big for the size of their body. The shape, and number, of primatesMembers of the most highly developed order of animals, including humans, monkeys, and apes.’ teeth also help place them in this category. Also, while other mammals have clawsThe fingernails of an animal, such as a bear or cat. They help to grab prey. In birds, they're called talons. or hooves, only primatesMembers of the most highly developed order of animals, including humans, monkeys, and apes. have flat nails (look at your finger and toenails!). PrimatesMembers of the most highly developed order of animals, including humans, monkeys, and apes. use their limbs for more than just moving around, and can grasp with their hands and feet.

 

And like us, most other primatesMembers of the most highly developed order of animals, including humans, monkeys, and apes. live as part of a social group, forming bonds and learning from their mothers and the rest of the “family” about how to get along with others.

 

So the next time you see a group of monkeys or apes at the Zoo or Park, look to see if you can spot familiar behaviors—are they sharing or helping each other? Does playtime look like fun? Maybe it’s all in the family!