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Recently Discovered: Blue Testicled Monkey
Male lesula monkeys (Cerocopithecus lomamiensis) have bald, brilliant blue testicles, buttocks and perineum. Locals in the Congo regularly hunt the monkey for food, but primatologists didn’t catch their first glimpse of the shy mammal until 2007. Lesulas are only the second monkeys to be discovered in Africa in 28 years.
(via: Discovery News)                    (photo: Maurice Emetshu)

Lucy on Flickr.Via Flickr:
Lucy is a rhesus monkey, or rhesus macaque. Scenarios like the ‘Ikea monkey’ made them out to be cute, but they are far from good pets and can be incredibly dangerous. She landed her owners in the hospital because of their inability to properly care for her. Now she trusts nobody, and constantly makes aggressive faces in an attempt to ‘defend’ herself from us, who she firmly believes is a threat. Despite this, she has made great strides and is able to eat with others watching- remarkable improvement from a primate that has so much psychological damage. She’s really beautiful.
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I really love watching Lucy- everything she does is thought out ahead of time, and she has so many thoughts to follow through with. She’s also ridiculously observant- as long as you don’t come on as a threat, she really does express some amazing and unique characteristics- a prime example of how remarkably similar we are to our fellow primates.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri) is a newly recorded primate species discovered in 2010 in northern Myanmar. They’ve been made famous due to their uncanny resemblance to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.. At least, after his ‘transformation.’ (too soon?) 
Despite that, I like to think their unique look is kinda cute, yet oddly haunting. They have long tails (roughly 140% of their body length) and a little upturned nose that often plays against them. The locals claim they’re easy to find when it rains because of their noses.. Rainwater gets caught inside of them, causing them to sneeze. This dubbed them with the name ‘Sneezing Monkey.’ A lot of creativity for that one, huh? 
They spend their summer at higher altitudes, descending toward villages during the winter due to food scarcity. 
Unfortunately, there’s only 260-330 individuals remaining, making them Critically Endangered according to the IUCN. As with many species, human development and deforestation (logging) has decreased populations.. And to support this species destruction, they’ve even built roads to allow hunters and illegal loggers easy access to the forest! The influx of workers has, in turn, increased demand for bush meat and wildlife products.. An endless chain of eradication.
Fauna & Flora International have begun immediate conservation, which started in the beginning of 2011, to protect and ensure the survival of this species. Working with local communities, they monitor the monkeys using camera tracks and take intensive surveys. To further education on the species, they’ve launched a conservation awareness program for not only the locals, but also the Chinese construction workers that enter the area. They’ve even planned a community ranger programme!


 Bonobos buy friends with bananas 

Sharing with strangers is not unique to humans, according to a new study by Duke University anthropologists, whether it’s motivated by altruism or affability.

“Humans learn at an early age that sharing is a virtue, despite a common urge to hoard toys from preschool peers. We tend to think of this as a uniquely human ethos, elevating us above other, greedier animals. But as a new study highlights, the kind of selfless behaviors that help build our social networks may have evolved long before we did.”A very interesting read!
This cute yet slightly creepy animal is a primate endemic to the Philippines. Any ideas? The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is said to be the smallest monkey in the world, although it is neither. However, they are the only fully carnivorous primate, eating a diet of mostly insects, and the occasional small vertebrates and invertebrates.
Their eyes weigh more than their brain and their head can rotate 180 degrees. It certainly helps, since they’re all about the nocturnal life.. And surviving, since predators like civets and monitor lizards are always on the search for a good meal. 
If you’ve been to Bohol or plan on going, chances are you know all about Tarsius syrichta fraterculus. Many tourists arrive on the island and instantly notice this primate is basically idolized, with many different areas allowing you to view them. Just make sure you choose a place that benefits not only the owners, but the tarsiers as well.
Tarsiers are a near threatened species. Habitat loss and illegal pet trades are the biggest threats. With only three subspecies endemic to the Philippines, it is crucial we try to keep them around for as long as possible.
This is an amusing animal, purely because of it’s tendency to offend us humans. No, not by it’s startling appearance but the, er.. It gives people the finger. It’s not the aye-aye’s (Daubentonia madagascariensis) fault! They may be primates, but they certainly  don’t pay attention to what we consider rude. They just simply go along with their day tapping on trees with their middle finger, listening for insect larvae and.. I guess you could say giving grubs the bird while it fishes them out with that same middle finger. That finger also proves useful for scooping out coconut flesh and devouring other yummy fruits. 
So it’s easy to see why this nocturnal primate spends it’s time roaming the rain forest trees and avoiding earth at all costs.. It doesn’t want to offend us! I kid, I kid. It’s food source is IN the trees! That, and the fact that people native to Madagascar consider them an omen of bad luck and kill them on sight. I, personally, think that’s more ill luck for the aye-aye.. Whose also loosing its home to habitat destruction and has already been unfortunate enough to find itself on the critically endangered list.
Aw, it’s so fluffy and.. intimidating. The slow loris (genus Nyticebus) is the only poisonous primate that science knows of. Well.. It kind of blurs the line between a poisonous and venomous animal.
Being found in South and Southeast Asia, they’re omnivores with a certain trick up their sleeve, literally. Besides sleeping and choosing to move slower than just about everything, they have an ability to produce a foul smelling toxin from patches on the inside of their elbows. They will suck up poison from this patch to mix with saliva in their mouth, biting down with the spade shaped, needle-sharp teeth on their lower jaw. This bite can be so painful that it creates allergic reactions, and may even induce anaphylactic shock. It’s clear to scientists that they don’t have venom sacs, which points towards it being the only poisonous primate, not venomous.
Unfortunately, this rare poisonous primate is in dire need of protection. That was an awesome alliteration.. Anyways, they’re listed as “Vulnerable” or “Endangered” by the IUCN. Deforestation is a big threat, but the wildlife trade is equally as much of a danger. People will remove these wild animals from their habitat and remove their teeth so they don’t pose as a threat, and then sell them. Often, people will take in these cute pets expecting them to be cuddly and precious animals.. But they don’t realize the various dangers and responsibilities it takes to keep an exotic pet.

" Who is to say that only human beings are persons? Isn’t this gorilla demonstrably a person? In our society, a person has certain rights, limited as they may be. Granting these rights to primates opens the doors for the animal world. Western civilization has always argued that man was created in the image of God, and was intrinsically different from animals and nature. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution already shattered this view of man’s uniqueness. "

- Koko: A Talking Gorilla
First discovered in 1780, this mysterious mammal was thought to be a new species of squirrel due to it’s large bushy tail and rapidly growing rodent-like teeth. Upon further investigation, it was deemed the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), the world’s largest nocturnal primate endemic to Madagascar. Since Madagascar lacks woodpeckers, the aye-aye’s niche in their ecosystem is the ability to extract insects from wood with their long fingers. They do this with a careful drumming, up to 40 times in a minute, and keenly listening with their ears. This brilliant hearing allows them to detect between wood with cavities for bugs, or just solid wood. Once detected, they will use their sharp front teeth to gnaw wood away, then using their uniquely thin fingers to pull out grubs. Adaptation has made their fingers unique, since they are up to 3x longer than most, extremely flexible, and move up to 30 degrees sideways from their joints. This technique of hunting requires much learning, since they are only able to use their extraordinary senses six weeks after birth. Mocking their mothers movements, careful tapping and precise drumming is practiced for up to a quarter of their childhood. Once their mother finds food, the offspring acts like a human child with an ice cream cone, stealing it from the mother in a proud manner. It’s thanks to their huge brains that they not only act surprisingly full of themselves at a young age, but also that they’re very fickle in what enters their stomachs. Mother’s consent is needed prior to devouring any type of prey. The steady loss of their forest homes is threatening this species population.. Along with the people of Madagascar having long thought if this ‘evil’ primate points it’s middle finger at you, you are condemned to die unless you first kill the evil aye-aye. 
Photo credit: Frank.Vassen
Humans have a never ending fascination for primates and their remarkable similarities to us. Perhaps the most bewildering is the bonobo (Pan paniscus) whose features are strikingly close to ours. Their personalities are also that of high school children, smart with a carefree lifestyle. Recently, it’s been discovered that they also care about social rankings. When a new female bonobo enters a group, she will do anything to be ‘popular’- even if it means having sex with the alpha female. Being a promiscuous species, they’ll even call out during sex to advertise their success, more often noticed when the partner is a higher ranking or the alpha female is in the audience. In the high-school word, this is actually rather slutty, but in the primate world it’s just another way to show of social abilities. Sex is common in this species, since it’s a way for them to relieve both tension and stress after conflict, show affection, relay social status, and provide excitement. Studies verifying these behaviors were published in the journal Scientific Reports on March 1st. 
Photo credit: Evan Animals
We’ve all heard that apes are our closest cousins, but what makes us so close to them? There’s various things, which arises some disagreement throughout crowds. Genetically, we are undeniably related, similar to all animals have relatives which is how we get scientific classification. Both are in the family Hominidae, omnivorous, lacking external tails and having a sufficiently separate thumb along with sexual dimorphism. Males are larger, with upper body muscular development. Anatomical differences are due to our habitual bipedalism, and we have adapted to walking on two feet at all times. Chromosomes have also been of discussion, great apes having 48 and Homo sapiens with 46. But this has caused an uproar of debates, and I won’t even begin with that. Our closest relatives are thought to be African and Asian apes, then Old and New World Monkeys, followed by tarsiers, and finally lemurs and lorises.
Photo credit: Ludovic Hirlimann
In the 1960s, an American psychologist named Harry Harlow conducted a series of controversial experiments in order to prove the significance a mother’s love has on a child. Through unethical and cruel tests and scenarios, he put these deprived young rhesus monkeys through devastating situations in order to prove how important a mother’s love can be. This determination to prove a mother’s role is not just to feed, water, and avoid pain came out of the early 20th century’s beliefs that those 3 elements were the only elements required for motherhood. His most famous experiment was conducted by removing these young primates from their mothers only hours after birth, to be raised by a surrogate mother. Each primate had two to choose from, a mother made of metal wiring with milk, and a mother made of terrycloth with no food. Each primate showed the same results, choosing their terrycloth mother over the wired one. In fact, when they were put in a new room to study, they would run back to their terrycloth mother for support and comfort. When she was not present, they would throw tantrums, scream, or crawl into a ball and rock back and forth in pure terror. Harlow had proved that love is a vital necessity in raising young.
Photo credit: Daniel NOU

Indonesia—A tender moment transpires between mother and infant orangutans in Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park. The arboreal species has one of the longest intervals between births among mammals, typically around eight years. (by Jami Tarris)