Talk:New World monkey

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Continental drift[edit]

Is anyone aware of the relationship between continental drift and primate evolution?

<sarcasm>No, no one is aware of it.</sarcasm> Do you have some text you want to add to the article, and do you have a citation to support it? - UtherSRG (talk) 18:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Someone should add a section about how the new world monkeys managed to get there. Ashwinr 20:02, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I am looking at the continental drift It is only about ~1800 miles/ 2800km from Brasil to West Africa now - the 4500km does not make sense. <-- wikipedia has it at 2800km for narrowest point 4800km is the widest width from US to N. Africa —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:39, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

My anthropology TA - this is why I'm here - says it's thought that a chunk broke off and floated across the ocean. Still may sound improbable, but as Carl Sagan pointed out, what seems impossible in a hundred years may be inevitable in a hundred million (or ten million or WHATEVER) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I am doing some research on the very subject (how the heck there are monkeys in S. America and Africa). So far it looks unexplained, if S. America and Africa were apart before the existence of simians. I find it highly improbable that a chunk of Africa up and drifted over to S. America, no matter what you T.A. said. And even less believable that a 'raft of vegetation' from Africa floated over on ocean currents with monkeys on it. I think it discredits the page to have the 'raft theory' on there unsupported. So I think the most probable theory is that a main monkey ancestor existed at the time the continents separated, and evolved into slightly different species on each continent. I will continue this research. Hopefully someone out there has some supporting documentation that can shed some light on the issue.QatBurglar (talk) 06:52, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

The raft theory is supported by the existing evidence. The evidence includes the facts that 1. Africa and South America were much closer at the time the first monkeys appeared in South America and 2. the earliest monkeys in South America appeaered along the Atlantic coast. There is no evidence of monkeys existing in South America at the time the the two contienents were connected; in fact, no monkeys existed back that far in history. The New and Old World groups split about 40 million years ago. Africa and south America split about 140-150 million years ago. There is no way that monkeys existed on Pangaea. - UtherSRG (talk) 10:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Obviously the first primates didn't appear until 60 mya. But how far from Africa did S. America travel in the ~100 million years? The next step is to find out the positions of the African and S. American continents around 60-40 mya and the distance between them. If the distance is small enough, maybe the 'raft theory' is conceivable. Large clumps of trees have been known to break off from the Amazon and travel great distances on ocean currents. Also, these prehistoric trees were probably inconceivably large, probably capable of sustaining their own ecosystem for a while. Does anyone have any supporting data on either the distance between the continents or of the possibility of monkeys traveling from Africa on floating trees? - QatBurglar (talk) 15:20, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I found out that South America, when it separated from Africa, moved sort of in a swinging motion, with the bottom of the continent swinging away about a pivot point that was around sub-Saharan Africa. This was the area where the first simians appeared, and was the last to float away from the African continent. The two landmasses were much closer together at this time than I had originally thought. QatBurglar (talk) 03:33, 16 June 2008 (UTC)


I have begun reading the book "Evolution of the New World Monkey and Continental Drift" which offers some of the major theories on the evolutionary controversy. My question is whether or not this should be contained under a separate article with only a summary under the 'Origins' section of this one. QatBurglar (talk) 03:33, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Depends how much information you want to provide about it. If you write enough for a full article on the issue, then by all means give it its own article. My question is, how many monkeys would have travelled by raft to South America? Is the hypothesis that a couple of dozen monkeys travelled on one raft, or is the idea that there were probably several rafts? Or is it believed that all the New World Monkeys emerged from an even smaller founding group, of say less than a dozen individuals? --Mathew5000 (talk) 09:07, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, are platyrrhini the only nonhuman primates in South America? I assume that but the article doesn't make it explicit. --Mathew5000 (talk) 09:10, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
A rafting event also occurred on the other side of Africa, taking early prosimians from Africa (or possibly India) to Madagascar. The concept of a "rafting event" may even be relevant to other species outside of the order Primates. For that reason, I'm considering starting a new article, even if it has to start as "stub status" until we can track down enough sources to flesh it out. - Visionholder (talk) 20:15, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Go for it. - UtherSRG (talk) 20:57, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I'll create it now. However, if someone has better sources that discuss the details of these events (or formally documents when these floating mats of vegetagion have been seen), please add it. Unfortunately, all of my sources only mention the theories briefly with no citations or references. I'm sure there's something out there. - Visionholder (talk) 21:32, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Done. Please clean up, rename, or whatever is needed. Anyone who is able to expand it is encouraged to do so, especially for other types of animals. - Visionholder (talk) 22:23, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


Would it be right to say that the Platyrrhini (of course not the New World monkeys, but their common African ancestor) ist also the forefather of the Old World monkeys and thus the apes and the humans? It would be a logical assumption because doubtlessly they are the more animallike and therefore primitive monkeys.-- (talk) 16:08, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

It all depends on how far you go back. But the most recent common ancestor of all of Platyrrhini would certainly not be ancestral to all of the Old World monkeys and the apes. - UtherSRG (talk) 07:37, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

How many families?[edit]

The first sentence of the article says there are five families of New World monkeys, but Atelidae refers to "the four families of New World monkeys". Which is it? (talk) 01:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Five families. Things were in flux last year. - UtherSRG (talk) 07:34, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

prehensile tail[edit]

This surprised me when I saw this. It was my understanding from reading your article that only the family Atellidae had prehensile tails. But I found at least three photos of squirrel monkeys suspended in part by their tails. Here is one photo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:50, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

That is certainly not a squirrel monkey! Looks like a spider monkey, or perhaps a capuchin. Hrm, in Ecuador.... Nope, the only squirrel monkey in Equador is the common squirrel monkey, and it has coloring and body shape that is distinctly different that this image. - UtherSRG (talk) 07:34, 12 March 2012 (UTC)


Here's good (recent) source for discussing the arrival and diversification of New World monkeys:

– Maky « talk » 17:26, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Central and South America[edit]

Can North America be included here, too? Perhaps, South and Central America and the tropical portions of Mexico? Fotoguzzi (talk) 03:02, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Added Mexico. Fotoguzzi (talk) 23:25, 23 July 2013 (UTC)