Difference Between Monkey and Chimpanzee

Monkey vs Chimpanzee | Lifespan, features, behaviors

These two primates, monkey and chimpanzee, are very closely related while there are considerable differences between them. However, chimps are evolutionary more related to the humans than the monkeys. The larger brain capacity in both these animals have been a feature to consider as a result, they have become very intelligent and tactful in finding food and shelter to live. However, with the body forms and body postures, chimps and monkeys are difference while the number of species also differs between these two.


Monkeys are mainly of two types, old world and new world, with more than 260 extant species in the world. The sizes of the monkeys are vastly different according to the species. The smallest member is about 140 millimetres with a weight of 4 – 5 ounces while the largest member can weigh up to 35 kilograms and can be as tall as 1 metre at standing posture. The monkeys are adapted to climb and jump among trees. They do not stand in the upright posture but walk with all four limbs most of the time. Only the new world monkeys have a prehensile tail and colour vision in their eyes. All the monkeys have five digits with an opposable thumb in limbs. Additionally, they also have the binocular vision as the other primates. The lifespan could vary from 10 to 50 years, depending on species of the monkey.


Chimpanzees are a type of apes and very closely related with humans, gorillas and orang-utans. There are only two species of chimps in the genus Pan. An adult chimp could weigh up to 70 kilograms and can be as tall as more than 1.6 metres. They have long arms and well suited for walking on the ground than climbing on trees. Their broad soles and short toes of the hind limb are helpful feature for walking and also they can stand in the upright posture as humans. Chimps have a dark coloured coat and possess excellent eyesight with binocular and colour vision. Chimps have five digits in each hand with an opposable thumb. Unlike most of the mammals, chimps do not have a tail. They live up to 40 years in the wild and sometimes up to 60 years in captivity.

Chimpanzee and Monkey

Chimps and monkeys are two distinct primate groups with having similarities also.

- Chimps do not have a tail and generally the body size is larger than most other primates.

- The more upright body posture of chimps is adapted for walking than for climbing as in monkeys.

- The chimps have a better vision than the sense of smell. However some new world monkeys have color vision. Also in both monkeys and chimpanzees, the eyes are placed at the front of the face enabling them to have an improved binocular vision.

- Chimpanzees possess a larger brain relative to the body size than the other primates hence they are more intelligent.

However, the five digits in the fore limb with opposable thumbs are considerable similarities between these two types on primates. Existence of many species of monkeys in the world today depicts their better ecological adaptability than the chimpanzees.