Aotus – Night monkeys

The only nocturnal primates of the New World

New world monkeys are among the most species-rich lineages. They presumably arrived in Southern America through transoceanic dispersal during the Eocene.

The Aotidae family is of night monkeys classified in the genus Aotus grouped in a red-necked group and a gray-necked group containing several species. Previously due to a lack of chromosomal data, Genus Aotus was considered a subfamily within the Cebidae. The extinct species (fossil) can be traced to the early Miocene era.

They are relatively small-sized, with round heads, flat-rounded faces, large eyes, hidden ears, and long bushy (non-prehensile) tails that help them balance. Many Aotus species have been used for vaccine research, virological studies, and vision physiology.