12 fun facts about monkeys ... or animals you THOUGHT were monkeys but aren't

12 fun facts about monkeys ... or animals you THOUGHT were monkeys but aren't

Think you know a lot about our animal cousins? Think again! Here are some things you may not know about monkeys

The monkey in the Chinese zodiac is described to be mischievous, curious and clever. But there's more to monkeys than that! Here are 12 facts you may not already know about our closest relative of the animal kingdom:

Local Monkeys

The greatest concentration of wild monkeys in Hong Kong is in the Kam Shan Country Park in Kowloon. With around 1,800 monkeys calling that area home, it's basically monkeyland.

Say again?

The western lowland gorilla that lives in central Africa has the very odd, odd, odd scientific name of Gorilla gorilla gorilla.

It's bananas how smart Koko is

Koko the gorilla is world famous for having masters a modified version of American Sign Language (ASL), which allows her to communicate with her carers. In 2001, Koko was visited by actor and comedian Robin Williams, who made her laugh for the first time in six months after her lifelong gorilla companion, Michael, passed away. In 2014, after Williams died of suicide Koko was told the news of his passing, she signed "cry" to her carer and became very sad. In the past, Koko had also displayed distress and concern from watching a sad movie and over the death of a kitten.


Howler monkeys are widely considered to be the loudest land animal. Their howls can reach 90 decibels and be heard clearly for 4.8 km. 


The monkey comes ninth on the chinese zodiac.

Not all good

Monkeys are considered pests by some farmers who have to deal with the animals destroying their crops. But monkeys aren't only a rural problem, In New Delhi, India, the urban monkey population is so used to humans they've become bold and aggressive, and are known to mug people for food.

Apes in space!

The first ever primate astronaut was Albert, who rode on a V2 rocket on June 11, 1948. sadly, Albert suffocated during the flight. He was followed by Albert II, who survived the flight and became the first monkey in space, but died due to parachute failure.  

Apes aren't monkeys

Apes are generally larger and lack tails, and they can also walk on two legs, which are some of the characteristics not shared by monkeys. But they are both primates, so I guess they're like distant cousins.

Fun with nouns

A group of apes is called a tribe or a shrewdness, while a group of monkeys is called a barrel, cartload, tribe, troop or wilderness. Gorillas come in bands, troops or harems.

The Banana Bard

The infinite monkey theorem says that infinite number of monkeys hitting keys at random on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time will type the complete works of William Shakespeare. Someone tested it with six monkeys, one month and one keyboard. The monkeys did not write Shakespeare. 

Humans are apes too

Chimpanzee are our closest relatives and they are also among the smartest of animals. Capable of using tools and even rudimentary sign language, these are seriously clever animals!

And more proof

The Chimpanzee is one of the few animals capable of passing the mirror test, which determines whether a non-human possesses the ability of self-recognition.


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