The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is home to a variety of primates, including prosimians like ring-tailed lemurs. These animals have long, muscular legs that are good for leaping and jumping. They can jump high and far through the forests of Madagascar, which is where they’re native to. Unfortunately, like many other species of primates at the zoo, they’re endangered due to habitat destruction.
One difference between the ring-tailed lemurs and other species of primates: how they groom each other. They have dental combs in their mouths – teeth made for picking fur. They groom each other with these, rather than use their hands like other primates. Their noses are also wet. They have a very highly developed sense of smell, whereas some primates don’t.
Also among the zoo’s primates are 3 Capuchin Monkeys. They love spending some time in their hammock and swinging around on Monkey Island in the Central Zoo. According to Zookeeper Laura Sievers:
They are afraid of the water so they don’t go in and swim. But, you will see them come down to the water with a handful of their diet, and they’ll put it into the water to kind of moisten it.
Not all monkeys have prehensile tails – only some of them do. And it is characteristic of a Capuchin. And you can tell if they have a prehensile tail – when they stand, it will actually curl. And that’s how you know if they have a prehensile tail. If it lays flat, they don’t.
The capuchin monkeys can use those tails to grab things, keep their balance, swing between trees, and pick up things.
Now you know some of the differences between prosimians, like the ring-tailed lemurs, monkeys, like the capuchins, and apes, like the Sumatran Orangutans. See what similarities and differences you notice when you visit the zoo this summer!