17 Cutest Monkeys In The World (With Pictures) - Wild Explained (2024)

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Did you know that there are at least 334 species of monkeys worldwide?

Although they all share a few similar physical traits, many species of monkeys have a unique appearance. Some of them are just adorable to look at.

But have you ever wondered what are some of the cutest monkeys in the world?

We have three candidates – Pygmy Marmosets, Emperor Tamarins, and Squirrel Monkeys. Two traits that connect these cute monkey species are their tiny stature and uniquely looking faces.

A Pygmy Marmoset is the tiniest primate on the list. It does not have the stereotypical monkey features that others have. At the same time, these monkeys are thumb-size when born.

An Emperor Tamarin’s cuteness immediately stood out with its wispy white mustache. With its small body build, its stache gets emphasized more.

And a Cotton-Top Tamarin is the oddest cute ball on this list. It has a black button nose, large doll eyes, and crazy white fur hair. If not for its body features, no one would expect that it belongs to the monkey family.

However, there are many other cute monkeys around the world. And besides, cuteness is subjective, so maybe for you, some other monkeys on the list will be more adorable.

Let us get to know the 17 cutest monkeys worldwide!

List of Cutest Monkeys in the World

  • Tarsiers
  • Common Marmosets
  • Capuchin Monkeys
  • Golden Lion Tamarins
  • Vervet Monkeys
  • Howler Monkeys
  • Macaques
  • Dusky Leaf Monkeys
  • White-faced Saki Monkeys
  • Emperor Tamarins
  • Squirrel Monkeys
  • Silvery Marmosets
  • Guenons
  • Red-Shanked Doucs
  • Spider Monkeys
  • Cotton-top Tamarins
  • Pygmy Marmosets


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Famously known for their intense large eyes, Tarsiers are found in Southeast Asia. These nocturnal animals are at least 3.5 to 6 inches long. Other features that make

These cute little monkeys are different from their cousins due to their frog-like fingers and bat ears.

Tarsiers might look cute and inviting, but they don’t enjoy a lot of attention. Although these adorable primates are kept in captivity,many tarsiers have been reported to commit suicide.

The causes behind Tarsier’s suicide are stress-induced activities. This tiny primate is shy and anxious.

In captivity, they are often exposed to a large number of visitors and tourists. Things such as touching and camera flashes can place Tarsiers under extreme stress.

For people to enjoy their cuteness, Tarsiers are better visited in the wild or under the care of legitimate sanctuaries.

Common Marmosets

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Common Marmosets have large fluffy white ears and striped tails. This interesting creature is found mainly in South America, and with their features, they can pass as small marsupial animals.

People can spot Common Marmosets chilling on top of a tree in a rainforest. Similar to Tarsier, these monkey species are not ideal as a pet.

Common Marmosets are social creatures that rely heavily on their group. Keeping them alone and isolated can be cruel for the monkey.

Being wild animals, they also have specific needs and can act feral if they feel threatened.

Capuchin Monkeys

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Most people knew Capuchin Monkeys due to this breed’s appearance in multiple Hollywood movies. It is all thanks to the monkey’s ability to be trained.

Capuchin Monkey has these cheeky smiles, giving viewers a hint of cuteness. So, it is no surprise when a lot of people started applying to get them as exotic pets.

However, most aspiring pet owners are unaware that a Capuchin Monkey is an super active pet.

Once it gets boring for them, Capuchin Monkeys will start to get destructive. It is not because they are angry, but more like they have nothing to do.

This South American Monkey often gets euthanized or rescued once pet owners cannot handle them anymore.

Golden Lion Tamarins

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Golden Lion Tamarin probably has the most beautiful orange fur in the monkey kingdom. They capture everyone’s eyes with their healthy ball of hair, framing their cute small face.

This orange ball of fur is found in coastal regions of southeastern Brazil. Unfortunately, thepopulation of Golden Lion Tamarin is in a steady decline.

People usually take them as exotic pets for their color. However, pet owners give them up once they realize that these monkeys are not obedient and cuddly.

A lot of organizations have been advocating to prevent people from taking Golden Lion Tamarin from their habitat.

Vervet Monkeys

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Vervet Monkey also takes the title of the cutest monkey for its petite frame. They boast their beautiful gray coat and black face.

These 3-feet primates are commonly found in Eastern Africa. Similar to other monkeys, Vervet Monkeys have a strong social group.

In areas where they live near the human population, these monkeys are sometimes seen as pests. In the wild. they are known to steal food and destroy crops.

Because of this, unfortunately, Verver Monkeys are often killed and poisoned by farmers.

Howler Monkeys

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As its name suggests, Howler Monkeys gained attention for their loud howls that can travel for almost three miles. They are also recognized for their doe eyes and a wide range of fur colors.

Howler Monkeys are found in the forest of South America. They are one of the largest new world monkeys.

Although not aggressive, Howler Monkeys show signs of bad temper and disobedience when kept in captivity.

In Argentina, they are one of the species that is often a subject of the pet trade. Animal poachers usually kill the mother and sell the baby monkey as a pet.

Related: Cutest Horses in the World


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Macaques have 22 subspecies living in different habitats throughout Asia and North Africa. It is no surprise when Macaques have different traits from each other.

Among all of these species, the Rhesus Macaque monkey is arguably the most adorable looking.

When seen up close, Macaques have large brown eyes. Their fur varies from shades of brown to black.

Macaques are very social animals that live in troops that can have twenty to two hundred members.

Due to their wide distribution and, in certain aspects, similarity to humans, Macaques are commonly used for animal testing and medical research.

Dusky Leaf Monkeys

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One of the most unique-looking monkeys on the list, the Dusky Leaf Monkey can easily make you want to hug them. This cute monkey is exclusively found in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Dusky Leaf Monkeys are popular with their black fur that covers their body, except for their eyes and mouth. It actually results in that iconic robber mask look.

Interestingly, a baby Dusky Leaf Monkey has bright orange-colored fur.

Unfortunately, Dusky Leaf Monkeys are an endangered species. Their population is in decline because of the destruction of their natural habitat.

These adorable monkeys live in troops and forage for food together, usually at higher elevations in the tree canopy.

White-Faced Saki Monkeys

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White-Faced Saki Monkey gained popularity for the white fur enclosing its face. However, female White-Saki Monkeys have shorter brownish-gray coats. The white fur on their face made this monkey popular.

These small black primates are commonly found in the rainforests of Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.

White-Faced Saki Monkeys are also known as the flying monkeys for their exceptional skill in leaping from one tree to another.

These monkeys are known to mate for life and to be quite devoted to their partner. They usually live in a small group of 2 to 3 members. Parents and their offspring. Depending on a region, sometimes they do live in a larger group of up to 12 members.

White-Faced Saki Monkeys are picky regarding food, so they would choose mostly trees with a high amount of fruit and trees with water holes.

Emperor Tamarins

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The first thing you will notice about this beautiful monkey is its long white mustache. Emperor Tamarins captured everyone’s eyes with how they looked like the cartoon character Lorax.

But apparently, they got their name from resembling the German emperor Wilhelm II.

Emperor Tamarins are comfortably living in South America’s rainforests. Besides being some of the cutest monekys in the world, these primates have an unusual family construct. A female Tamarin is a boss, and she leads a group of at least two males.

In addition, Emperor Tamarins display interesting behavior in captivity. According to Jackson zoo in Mississippi, their tamarinds show a need for tenderness and enjoy cuddling with the caretakers.

These lovely-looking monkeys would lie on their back as a signal that they wanted to be stroked.

Squirrel Monkeys

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Squirrel Monkeys are 10-inch cute little monkeys are found in the tropical forests of Central and South America. These charming primates prefer to live trees and they spend a lot of time jumping between branches.

They are quick, nimble, and small, so their movement through the jungle can remind you of a squirrel. That’s how they probably got their name.

Squirrel monkeys have this beautiful mix of colored fur. However, the white lining around their eyes makes them look as if they are wearing glasses.

Squirrel monkeys only sweat through their palms and soles of their feet. To cool down, they needed to develop other tactics. These monkeys practice something called urine washing.

To cool down, they urinate on their hands and rub the urine on their feet. During the day, squirrel monkeys try to avoid the sun and look for shaded areas.

Silvery Marmosets

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Silvery Marmoset is a new world monkey species. These primates live in the eastern Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.

Silvery Marmoset’s eyes pop out amongst its silver-gray-colored fur. Theonly part of its body that is not gray is its black tail. One more distinctive feature is their furless, skin-colored ears that stand out.

Their diet consists mostly of tree sap, but they would occasionally eat fruit, insects, small vertebrates, and bird eggs.

These animals are arboreal, and they are active mostly during the day.


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Another interesting and cute monkey on the list is Guenon. There are 26 subspecies of Guenon, and each specie has unique diversification in its facial appearance.

Scientists believe this is to avoid inbreathing between closely related subspecies. One thing is sure, they all have striking and bold color patterns on their face.

Guenons are endemic to Central Africa and are most commonly seen in tropical forests and woodlands.

Like most monkeys, Guenons are social, living in sizable groups. These colorful primates are playful and active during the daytime and late afternoon.

Red-Shanked Doucs

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Speaking of beautiful monkeys, we must not forget Red Shanked Douc. The glowing red-orange color of their fur and face made the Red Shanked Douc unique and very attractive.

Red Shanked Doucs reside along the rainforest of Vietnam and Laos.

The mix of colors makes their adorable faces pop out even more. They almost look like they came out of a Sci-Fi movie.

Unfortunately, Red Shanked Douc is a critically endangered species. Their main threats are hunting, destruction of habitat, and the pet trade.

They live in multilevel groups that contain up to 18 members. Red-shanked doucs groups sometimes split to forage and later regroup.

Being primarily herbivores monkeys, their diet consists mostly of leaves.

Spider Monkeys

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Living in the rainforest of Central and South America, Spider Monkeys boasts its all-black coat. However, people get scared easily hearing their name.

They are named Spider Monkeys as they look like spiders when they hang on trees. Their long limbs and long tails create the spidery illusion.

Although Spider Monkey seems harmless at first, they start changing behaviors when kept out of their habitat.

Experts say that keeping Spider Monkey in captivity will make them violent towards humans taking care of them.

Spider monkeys may suffer mental issues that can lead them to bite and hurt people.

Cotton-top Tamarins

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Sometimes misunderstood as another animal, Cotton-Top Tamarin is a rare adorable monkey species, only found in the tiny section of a tropical forest in South America.

It has white crazy fur on top of its head and rodent, dog-like facial features. Cotton-top Tamarin had been called the animal look-alike of Albert Einstein.

They are also critically endangered, with only 6000 individuals left in the wild. The main reason for their endangered status is the destruction of their habitat.

The forests in Colombia where these animals live have been reduced to 5% of their prior size.

Pygmy Marmosets

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One of the tiniest and cutest monkeys on the list, the Pygmy Marmoset, is found in the western Amazon Basin in South America.

This 5-inch New World monkey has orange-green fur perfect for camouflage. Pygmy Marmoset kind of reminds people of small kiwi fruit.

The adult monkey’s body weight is around 3.5 oz. They are not in danger of extinction, but depending on the country, they can have protected status.

These animals are massively sold in China during the year of the monkey. It caused a sudden surge of Pygmy Marmosets being mishandled by new owners.


With this, we conclude our list of the cutest monkeys in the world. There are many adorable primates, so it’s hard to pick who would win the title of being the cutest.

In many states, it is illegal to keep monkeys as pets. And even in places where having a pet monkey is allowed, you would still need a special permit for keeping an exotic animal.

But, as you could have learned in this article, the monkey’s cuteness does not define its character. As a result, many species are very bad as pets despite their lovely appearance.

The best thing we should do is to let them live their natural wildlife way of life and admire their cuteness from afar.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this post, here’s another popular read: List of Cute Foxes.

17 Cutest Monkeys In The World (With Pictures) - Wild Explained (2024)
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