Are There Monkeys In America?

There are monkeys that inhabit the American continent. In North America, there are only two extant native monkeys, while in South and Central America, there is a rich and diverse array of monkeys.

North American Monkeys

North America is home to many species of monkeys. Most of these species are imported from other countries and are not native to the region. On the other hand, there are only two extant species of monkeys native to North America, and they are both located in Mexico.

The two native monkeys in Mexico are the Mexican spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus) and the Mexican howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana). These primates are found in the tropical forests of Mexico and are known for their distinctive features, such as the long arms and prehensile tail of the spider monkey and the loud howling vocalizations of the howler monkey.

Other than the native monkeys in Mexico, the only known native North American monkey is the Ekgmowechashala, which is now extinct. The ekgmowechashala, a.k.a. “Little Cat Man,” is an extinct genus of primates that was native to North America. It lived during the late Oligocene and early Miocene periods and had a body structure resembling that of a lemur

Central American Monkeys

In Central America, there are a variety of species of monkeys that can be found, including howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and New World monkeys. These primates can be found in different types of habitats, such as tropical forests, mangroves, and savannas.

South American Monkeys

The South American monkey species are diverse and unique, each with their own distinct physical and behavioral characteristics. These monkeys belong to the New World monkeys, a group of primates that are native to the Americas. Some of the most well-known species of South American monkeys include Tamarins, Marmosets, Squirrel monkeys, Capuchins, and other more.

New World Monkeys

New World monkeys are a group of primates that are native to the Americas. They are found from southern Mexico to northern South America and include species such as capuchins, tamarins, and spider monkeys. New World monkeys are characterized by their prehensile tails, which are used as an extra limb for climbing and grasping, and the lack of opposable thumbs. This group of primates is endemic in the Americas and is not found in any other part of the world.

One of the most popular New World monkeys is the capuchin. Capuchins are found in Central and South America.  These primates are highly intelligent and known for their problem-solving abilities and tool use. They have been observed using sticks and stones to crack open nuts and other food items, and they have also been seen using tools to fish for insects. This intelligence and adaptability make them popular in the entertainment industry, where they are often used as trained animals in movies and television shows.


American monkeys come in many varieties, with South and Central America being especially rich in monkey species. However, North America is home to imported species of monkeys that can be found in zoos, and only two native species of monkeys are located in Mexico.