The 10 Largest Monkeys in the World (2024)

Monkeys are fascinating creatures that you can see in many parts of the world. Unlike apes, monkeys usually have tails and tend to be a bit smaller. However, not all monkeys are small like the ones we’re familiar with. Some species grow impressively large, rivaling the size of smaller apes. These larger monkeys have unique traits and behaviors that make them stand out in their natural habitats. Here are the largest monkeys in the world, each showcasing their impressive stature and unique features.

Chacma Baboon

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A charismatic member of the monkey world, the Chacma baboon is incredibly large. It is commonly found in southern African regions like South Africa and Namibia. These monkey species usually prefer to live in dry and rocky terrain. They can be quite large, with males weighing 99–121 pounds and females weighing 31–40 pounds.

Chacma baboons have elongated limbs, which aid in agile climbing and swift ground movement. They sometimes invade human settlements for food, demonstrating remarkable adaptability. Being social animals, these animal species live in troops, some numbering over 100 members. Their social structure is quite complicated, with each baboon knowing their role and relationships within the troop.

Drill

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Drills are one of the largest and most striking monkeys. Males can reach up to 88 pounds, while females average around 35 pounds. They live in the rainforests of Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. Drills are social animals that live in groups of up to 30.

These species are easy to recognize by their stunning facial coloration—black faces paired with ruby-red lips. They also have impressive, elongated canine teeth, useful for showing off and protecting themselves. Drills rely more on visual and olfactory signals than vocalizations to communicate. Their diet includes fruits, leaves, and insects, making them flexible with diets.

Geladas

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Also known as “bleeding-heart monkeys” because of the red patch on their chests, geladas are fascinating creatures. Male geladas can weigh up to 44 pounds, while females weigh about 26 pounds. These unique primates are found in the Ethiopian Highlands, living in large groups of up to 100.

Geladas have complex social lives, intricate vocalizations, and a rare diet for primates—they primarily eat grass! They spend a lot of their time on the ground, unlike their more arboreal relatives.

Hamadryas Baboon

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The Hamadryas baboon is a robust and sizable primate. Usually, males weigh up to 66 pounds, and females weigh about 33 pounds. Native to the Horn of Africa and the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, these baboons thrive in arid regions and rocky hills. They are known for their complex social structure, living in troops called “harems.”

Most times, the troops consist of one male and multiple females. With their striking silver-gray fur, males distinguish themselves from other baboons. One of the Hamadryas babons’ unique features is their practice of “multi-level societies.” This adds layers of social interactions and unique hierarchies to the primate’s world.

Mandrill

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The mandrill boasts a strikingly colorful face and rear that make them stand out from all other monkeys. This species is one of the most eye-catching monkeys you can encounter. Males can weigh up to 119 pounds, while females generally weigh around 30 pounds.

Found in the lush rainforests of Gabon, Cameroon, and the Congo, these monkeys belong to the Old World monkey clan. They are perfectly at home with both large and small troops. Mandrills use different vocalizations, including grunting and screaming, to communicate within their group. They enjoy a diet that includes fruits, seeds, nuts, and insects.

Nepal Grey Langur

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The Nepal Grey Langur is a fascinating primate known for its thick, luxurious fur. Males can weigh up to 50 pounds, while females can weigh around 35 pounds. Found in the dense forests and mountainous regions of Nepal and northern India, these monkeys are social animals. They mostly live in large troops of 20 to 100 and have highly organized social structures.

Unique among their kind, they have large, semi-prehensile tails used for balance. Plus, their vocalizations are pretty varied, featuring a range of different calls. Another unique feature of the Nepal Gray Langur is their remarkable leaping abilities.

Olive Baboon

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Olive baboons are easy to recognize, considering their olive-colored fur. They live in the savannahs, grasslands, and forests of Africa, stretching from Mali to Ethiopia and Tanzania. These social animals live in troops that can consist of up to 150. Unique for their complex hierarchies, the olive baboons can adapt to different environments.

Male olive baboons can weigh up to 100 pounds, while females typically weigh around 50 pounds. They have nifty cheek pouches where they stash away snacks for later. Their vocal communication is pretty impressive too—they’ve got a whole range of sounds to pass different messages.

Proboscis Monkey

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The proboscis monkey is easily recognized by its large, pendulous nose. This feature is more noticeable in males and is thought to attract females or resonate calls. Proboscis monkeys are native to Borneo and inhabit mangrove forests and swamps.

Having webbed feet allows them to swim amazingly well in water. Males can weigh up to 50 pounds, while females are smaller, weighing around 20 pounds. Proboscis monkeys are social animals that live in groups of 10 to 30. They feed primarily on leaves, seeds, and fruits, making them dedicated folivores and frugivores.

Tibetan Macaque

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The Tibetan Macaque lives in the temperate and subtropical forests of Tibet and surrounding areas. They’re social animals, living in troops of up to 50 members. Males can weigh up to a robust 66 pounds, while females weigh around 35 pounds.

These monkeys have dense, shaggy fur and a strong build, which help them withstand cold mountain climates. Plus, they have cheek pouches to store food—an uncommon feature among many primates. And if you ever hear them, their unique vocal calls are just their way of keeping the group together.

Yellow Baboons

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Yellow baboons are a fascinating species famous for their agility and long limbs. Male yellow baboons can reach up to 55 pounds, while females typically weigh around 26 pounds. They have yellowish-brown fur and dog-like muzzles. These adaptable primates thrive in the savannas and woodlands of East Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania.

Living in matriarchal troops of 20 to 200, the yellow baboons ensure safety in numbers. They have a unique trait of synchronized birthing, where females give birth around the same time. This trait helps to improve the survival chances of their young.

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About the Author

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Jacqueline Robinson

Meet Jacqueline, a seasoned writer at Animaloverse who has spent over a decade exploring the fascinating world of animals. Her love for animals, which also fuels her writing, is drawn from her personal experiences with all kinds of pets. The animal kingdom continues to ignite her curiosity as she discovers new insights every day. She also finds joy and personal growth through sports. In winter, she enjoys skiing, embracing the thrill of invigorating cold weather activities. When summer arrives, she sets out on hiking trails, exploring the beauty of nature. Among all her passions, her dog Bailey holds a special place in her heart as together, they go on exciting adventures. The happiness she experiences with Bailey often serves as inspiration for her writing.

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