Is an ape a monkey? And what about a lemur? Although often called monkeys, apes and lemurs are not monkeys. Apes are larger and more intelligent than monkeys, with arms longer than their legs. Most monkeys have tails, but apes never do. Lemurs have arms shorter than their legs, and whiskers and long, pointy noses. But all (along with humans) belong to the order primates. [Editor's Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Monkeys]
Duke University Primate Center is home to approximately 300 prosimian primates, also known as lemurs. Mouse over the menu to see photos of seventeen species of lemurs. Just looking at the pictures is fun, and young animal lovers will love this. Click on any species name (such as Bushbaby) to learn more. Visit the Kids Corner for interactive games including a word search, maze, coloring pages and two lemur jigsaw puzzles.
For elementary grades, Enchanted Learning has sections on five kinds of apes: gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, gibbons and siamangs. Each section includes a feature article with lots of fast facts, a printable quiz, coloring page, and related web links. To learn how apes fit into the primate order, click on Classification to read about the Linnean Classification system. To explore related topics, click around in Zoom Mammals and Zoom Rainforests.
Is there a difference between monkeys and apes? Yes, and this one page articles explains how monkeys and apes are related, and how they differ. It's a good introduction to the scientific classification of orders, suborders, and species. "The 235 modern primate species are divided up into two suborders -- the prosimians and the anthropoids." There are some interesting links at the bottom of the page, and a printable version with less advertising.
This entry into the National Zoo's primate pages features four jigsaw puzzles, a printable coloring page, a primate glossary and nine fact sheets ("great for homework help!") Other excellent sections include the Primate Photo Gallery, Meet the Primates, and the orangutan and gorilla web cams. The web cams use Windows Media. If they don't work for you, try upgrading to the newest version of the player ( http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/default.asp ).
A few hours outside of London, Monkey World Ape Rescue Center works to "stop the smuggling of primates from the wild." At their kids pages, you can meet their chimps and learn about the variety of primate species living at their rehabilitation center. For fun, there are two monkey games, a page of monkey jokes, a funny photo you can caption, and free animated monkey clipart. "What sort of key do you need to open a banana? A mon-key!"