Monkeys have numerous adaptations that help them thrive in different environments. There are over 250 different monkey species, with a variety of shapes and sizes and many of them live in trees.
Centered in a tall, rectangular glass case in Wild Planet is a white, vertical angular structure representing a tree with branches on which monkeys are displayed. Some branches are white, triangular platforms extending from the trunk and some are short wooden branches secured to the tree trunk. On the white base of the case, mounted on wooden blocks are 3 of larger monkeys. The monkey on the left is black and all limbs are on a tree branch, as though walking along the branch.
The monkey on the right is standing on rocks, holding onto a vertical branch and looking out towards the room. The face, hands and feet of this monkey are black, it has tan fur, a slim build and long limbs. Several smaller monkeys with tan fur, are set in various poses on platforms and branches further up the tree.
What do you think we have in common with these cheeky monkeys? Like us, monkeys are primate mammals and share similar features such as opposable thumbs and grasping hands.
All monkeys can use their hands and feet for holding onto branches, but some tree-dwelling monkeys, such as the Spider Monkey, have long arms and use their tails as an extra limb, helping them move gracefully between branches and pick up small items like nuts.
The Eastern Black and White Colobus on display have long hind legs enabling them to leap at great speeds. The Mitred Leaf Monkey has elongated hands and strong fingers to help it swing across trees. Some monkeys, such as the Squirrel Monkey, move by leaping rather than swinging and have developed powerful thighs to help them jump. There are even some monkeys that have webbed toes to help them swim.