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International Monkey Day – December 14th

shutterstock_67651108Throughout history people have been fascinated, entertained and even terrified by monkeys. (Who can forget the Wicked Witch of the West’s squadron of flying monkeys?) Monkeys have been featured in books, films, and television and have even gone into space! In general, outside of the famous sock monkey toys, they do not make good pets, however, Capuchin monkeys are often trained from birth in order to become service animals for the disabled.

In 2000, the Monkey Day holiday began as a joke by Michigan State University art student Casey Sorrow. Since then, the holiday has grown to be recognized and celebrated by people all around the world.

The term monkey applies to all primate species that do not belong to the human, ape or prosimian categories, and they all share common traits. Monkeys live mostly in tropical or sub-tropical climates, and are wonderful climbers. Generally speaking, most monkeys have tails while apes do not.

Monkeys fall into two major groups – the Old World Monkey, most commonly found in Southeast Asia, China and Africa, and New World Monkeys, found in Mexico and South America. Most New World species have prehensile tails that allow them to swing or grasp objects as they move through trees and branches.

The Pygmy Marmoset is the smallest known monkey, weighing from 3 to 5 ounces when fully grown. The Mandrill is the largest, with adult males weighing up to 77 pounds. Monkeys tend to live together in a communal family group known as a troop or tribe.

Currently, there are around 264 known species of monkeys, with new ones that are yet to be discovered. However, many species are in danger of extinction due to loss of habitats and illegal hunting.

Want to support a cause for our simian friends? Visit this link: http://monkeyday.com/links/

Famous Monkeys Throughout History: http://www.ape-o-naut.org/famous/

 

 

 

 

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