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Primates? What are they?

Today is International Primate Day and we have lots of them at the zoo. You might be wondering what a primate actually is. A primate is an animal which falls under the category of primates- which are mammals that are characterised especially by having nails on the hands and feet, eyes facing forward, a short snout, good eyesight, a large brain and opposable thumbs. Humans are primates, along with lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes. Primates usually live in groups with complex social systems, and their high intelligence allows them to adapt their behavior successfully to different environments.

We have a range of primates at the zoo, here is our top 5:

Sulawesi crested Black Macaque

black and white ruffed Lemur

Pied Tamarin

Squirrel Monkey

Slender Loris

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more than one third of primates are considered to be critically endangered or vulnerable. Poaching is a huge problem and threat against primates, and animals with larger bodies are at an increased risk of extinction since they're more profitable for poachers.

At Newquay Zoo we are actively involved in conservation efforts to help prevent the poaching trade and are a part of international breeding programmes for endangered species. 

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