What do monkeys eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “What do monkeys eat?”, and discuss whether monkeys like to eat bananas or not. We will also discuss if bananas are good for monkeys’ health and mention ways in which monkeys hunt for their food. We will also discuss whether monkeys use their feet to eat or not.

What do monkeys eat?

Monkeys eat both plants and small animals as they are omnivores. There are a number of different monkey species, all of whom have a different diet. Their diet largely depends on where they live and what type of food is readily available to them. 

Monkeys eat fruits like mangoes, berries etc, and grass, leaves, flowers, nectar and gum. When it comes to animal protein, they eat insects and small animals like snails and lizards. Their diet mostly comprises plant-based food. They only consume protein in small amounts. 

Monkeys that live in the city as pets or in the zoo eat bananas and whatever food is offered to them by humans. Some of the stray ones even pick food out from the trash. 

Do monkeys only eat bananas?

We have grown up hearing that monkeys love to eat bananas. While it is true to some extent, it is not entirely true for wild monkeys. Bananas do not grow naturally out in the wild. They are planted by humans. So, wild monkeys who live in the forests do not have access to bananas.

Humans feed them to monkeys and they like the taste of bananas so they do seem to enjoy them but that is not the only thing the monkeys eat. 

Are bananas good for monkeys?

Bananas are nutritious but they contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugar. This can lead to raised blood sugar levels (diabetes) and hyperactivity. 

A lot of sugar can also lead to tooth problems. So it is better for them to have bananas in moderation. People often feed their pet monkeys a lot of bananas which can also lead to digestive issues. It is better to feed them fiber rich fruits.  

How do monkeys find their food?

Since their diet is largely plant-based, they look for trees with fruits or plants with flowers, grass and leaves, anything that they can digest. 

Monkeys can easily climb trees, so it is easy for them to pick the fruit. They also have opposing thumbs which help them grip and pluck the fruit. 

As for insects, they find them on the ground or on trees. Sometimes they even use wooden sticks to scrape off the dirt from the surface so that they can find bugs underneath it. 

When monkeys hunt for small animals, they catch them first and then kill them. Then they eat them. 

Do monkeys eat with their feet?

Yes, some monkeys use their feet as well as their hands to eat. Most monkeys have opposing thumbs on their feet as well which makes it easier for them to grip on food and eat it. 

What kind of animals do monkeys eat?

Monkeys prefer eating bugs, insects and small animals. They can eat beetles, earthworms, spiders and snails. They also prey on small birds and lizards. According to recent findings, monkeys also prey on rodents like rats. 

Learn more about different types of monkeys and their diet here

Do monkeys eat fish?

Monkeys are not really known to eat fish as they are mostly seen on trees, whether sitting on top or climbing them. They are not really fond of water that much either. 

However, some monkeys such as apes have been seen hunting for fish and eating them. So it is possible that sometimes they eat fish as a means of consuming protein. After all, they are omnivores. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “What do monkeys eat?”, and discussed whether monkeys like to eat bananas or not. We discussed if bananas are good for monkeys’ health and mentioned ways in which monkeys hunt for their food. We also discussed whether monkeys use their feet to eat or not. 








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