Monkey Business

Ooo ooo ooo, ahh ahh ahh. Yeah, its the Monkeys (hey hey). These banana-eating, tree swinging, human behaving animals are famously our great chums. Anyway, there is nearly 300 species of them, so no more monkeying around…

Common Squirrel Monkey

These small and energetic monkeys are considered New World Monkeys.They are very small hence their name – as they are often compared more to squirrels than monkeys. There diet consists largely of tree frogs, fruit & veg, and leafs. They can go large spells only surviving on Nectar. They get their drinking water from either puddles or in the food they eat. This is most likely something to do with the ocean water being salty around their natural habitat.

These monkeys are excellent jumpers and climbers – they have one of the strongest leaps in the monkey world. Female squirrel monkeys have a large penis. Its not actually a penis, it is simply there clitoris being significantly enlarged, making it look like a penis – and they use this ‘penis’ to scare their young children. Prior to mating, the squirrel monkeys will examine each other in what is most likely an awkward carry-on. One will lift their leg up and the other will inspect. If this is to each others liking then the plan will go ahead- but if not, one will simply make a break for it and it will all be forgotten about.

The Squirrel Monkeys are largely found across Central America, but are sadly considered endangered in the majority of places where they live. Eagles prove to be a major threat to them, as they are fairly easy to catch and very light to carry – making them a popular choice for the birds.


Capuchin Monkey

Another of the new world monkeys, these Capuchin monkeys are known to be amongst the most intelligent. These are the ones you will most likely find in labs, as they are good with problem solving. A example of that problem solving would be how the monkeys eat crabs – and will use rocks to crack the shell. Argentina is where these monkey will predominantly be found, though groups are also found across Central America, as they can live in a variety of habitats.

Largely their diet consists of seeds, bird eggs, leafs and fruit. While finding water is about the only time these monkeys will leave their tree. They are very territorial monkeys and will often urinate on that territory to mark it as theirs (many, many animals do this). They have long and strong tails, which they use to grasp branches when moving from tree to tree.

Unlike most animals, there is not any specific time of the year when the Capuchin will mate. They will always only have one baby at a time, with twins very rare, while a birth will only happen once every two years. The Capuchin can live upto 25 years in the wild, and upto 45 years in captivity. These monkeys are under serious threat in the pet trade, as they are the most popular monkey-pet, due to their higher intelligence and adaptability.


Cotton-top Tamarin

Again considered part of the New World monkeys, the Cotton-top Tamarin’s are strange, but incredible looking – with a set of blonde hair which stands up when they are excited, hence their name. They can only be found in Colombia – where they are considered endangered. Their social situation is strange. They travel in groups of around 13-15, but it is the dominant female of the group has the ultimate power. She is even capable of producing a particular type of birth control chemical, which has the immediate effect of stopping the other females having babies. So clearly their authority is very strong.

Like the other Monkeys there diet largely consists of seeds, leaves, and fruit. They do eat other animals, but given they are about the same size as a squirrel – it’ll be largely tiny animals, such as frogs. The average life span of a cotton-topped Tamarin is around just 10 years, and they are seriously threatened by the deforestation in their natural habitat. It is said that more than half of their natural habitat, only in the Colombian Caribbean coast, has been destroyed by deforestation. This has made them critically endangered.

Another issue pushing them to the brink of extinction is their popularity as exotic pets in South America, where they were once captured ‘professionally’ to be used for medical purposes. It has become a major issue as often these hunters will kill the parents in order to take the baby, thought to be because of the adult cotton-tops attachment to their environment, and inability to adapt to new ones. Though its unlikely the younger ones would fair much better. All this has made the cotton tops one of the rarest monkeys in the world with only an estimated 6,000 left both in the wild and captivity.


Japanese Macaque

These are old world monkeys, and as you might have guessed they are native to Japan – the islands of Kyushu, Honshu, and Shikoku, to be precise. The most northern-living animals in the world, these monkeys subsequently have brutally cold winters, and this is why they are also known as Snow Monkeys. They subsequently have thick fur covering their bodies and face. They are 1 of the 22 species of the Macaque family.

The Snow Monkeys socialise in groups, ranging between between 20 and 50 in numbers. They generally eat flowers, fruit, and potatoes, though in the tougher winter months they are often reduced to eating bark. Japanese Wolves are common hunters of the Macaques. They are smart animals though, and such is their advanced intelligence that they have been long recognised as one of only three animals that wash food before eating it – along with humans and raccoons.

The Japanese Macaque also possesses a wide range of communications skills. Most commonly they will display different vocal calls, not just for warnings – but by ways of showing authority (giving out orders) over another. They use their faces alot in communication, with different expressions and facial gestures often accompanying any request.

In the 1960s, Snow Monkeys began using the hot springs in an area now park of Jigokudani Monkey Park, in North Japan. The area was sealed off and the tubs reserved for the monkeys – with hundreds of Macaques visiting the baths every day, along with thousands of tourists.


Gelada Baboon

Very skilful animals, the Gelada’s can live upto 30 years. They travel in herds (of up to 1,000), and operate is a social system known as a Harem. In this, male Gelada’s will have the right to mate with around 5-10 females. The females will stay in this unit their whole lives, while the male may be displaced after a scrap with a challenger. The males are notably different looking to the females – they are lion-like, much larger in size than the females, with much more hair. As a result, this Harem social structure is very noticeable within groups of Gelada Baboons – with there often being many females, and just a few males.

The Gelada baboons have a large red patches of skin on their chest – which has led to the nickname ‘bleeding heart baboons’. You may be surprised to learn that they are all vegetarians, and around 90% of their diet if made up of grass, and they eat for around 10 hours a day. The Gelada’s are particularly known for their excellent skills with their hands, considered one the best in the animal kingdom (especially their thumb). On a funny note, there arses have evolved over time – to provide extra cushion, as they spend alot of time sitting down.


White Faced Saki Monkey

Yet another one of the new world monkeys – these small and bulky monkeys are most commonly found in Brazil. They tend to stick to trees, rarely reaching the ground. Eating largely fruit, the WFSM are also known to eat insects, birds and bats. After seeing them you may expect them to roar – but they in fact chirp, like little birds, as a form of communication. The have a thick black tail, but unlike most other monkeys they can’t use it for grip. Its worthwhile noting that the females do not have the trademark white face, instead their faces are ‘normal’ – small and brown.

We have now finally found monkey that like to keep themselves to themselves. The Saki monkeys are reserved, very cautious, and like to keep away from the spotlight. There big white coupons may make that difficult though, the males that is. Whatever they do, it works, as Saki Monkeys can live upto 30 years. This making them close to the spider-monkeys (who have the longest life expectancy). They can mate whenever too – there is no particular season. Though they will stay with the same original mating pair for their whole lives.

These monkeys are luckily widespread – so there is no conservative concern for the species. They are generally hunted by other animals only, such as snakes, wild cats and big birds. Humans though are widely banned in hunting them, and they are protected under various laws.


Finger Monkey

The smallest monkeys in the world – could probably fit into the palm of your hand. Their black-ringed tail is longer than their whole bodies, which are around only 15cm in length. These tails are not prehensile, meaning they cant be used for grip. They have claw-like nails that they use for grip, and hopping trees. Their hands and feet are said to be almost exactly like that of a squirrel. Another unique aspect of the finger monkeys is that they can turn their head in an 180 degrees angle – the same as an owl.

They travel in groups of upto 10, which largely contains one to two males’females, aswell as their offspring. So they are sociable, but family-oriented. They live in the amazon rainforests, spanning through many countries, though they love water and will always remain close to the Amazon river. They will largely feed on tree gum and sap, leafs and insects like butterflies and spiders. Predators is not a great concern for finger monkeys, which is probably why they are amongst the least concerned of the monkeys, in terms of conservation. Though they do have to watch for snakes and wild cats, with the latter very able to climb trees too.

They are very rare in their breeding, in that they will amongst always give birth to twins, one of the only animals known to do so. They can be found as pets in the United States, but are very expensive. Most states have banned their domestication, but can still be bought for around $4,000 to $17,000 – told you it was expensive. Add to that the fact your going to have to create some sort of duplicate habitat, aswell as its living cots, and your looking at a fair amount.


Monkey Business Gallery


By trying often the monkey learns to jump from the tree.     

African Proverb

Posted in: Animals

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