Fossils of monkeylike primates indicate that anthropoids were already established in Africa and Asia 40 million years ago. Africa and South America had already drifted apart, and it is not clear whether ancestors of the New World monkeys reached South America by rafting on logs or other debris from Africa or by migration southward from North America.

What is certain is that New World monkeys and Old World monkeys have been evolving along seperate pathways for many million of years.

All New World monkeys are arboreal, have prehensile tails and nostrils that open to the sides.

See also: Old World monkeys

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