Monkey Business

Blue Monkey, Mt. Kenya, Africa

Blue Monkey, Mt. Kenya, Kenya, Africa

With the Chinese New Year starting this week, in the Year of the Monkey, let’s take a look at some of the world’s monkeys.


There are 260 species of this primate in the world, and they are divided into two groups:  Old World and New World.  Old World monkeys live in Africa and Asia; New World are in South and Central America.


Primarily arboreal but sometimes ground-dwelling, this intelligent mammal usually lives in forests or savanna, and is active in daytime.  They all have a tail, and diet consists mainly of fruit and leaves, sometimes insects.  Gorillas and lemurs are not monkeys, but baboons are.  To learn more about monkeys click here.


Monkeys are famously fun for humans to watch.  They are playful, mischievous, tribal, and curiously similar to humans.  Go to any zoo, and this is where you will find the most human observers.


Blue Monkey, Lake Manyara, Tanzania, Africa

Blue Monkey, Lake Manyara, Tanzania, Africa

Here is a gallery of monkey photos, all taken by Athena, and a brief account of each sighting.  In addition, each species name is linked to Wikipedia for more information.


Blue monkeys are not really blue, and they are a female-bonded society living in Africa.  Sometimes the little bit of hair on the face gives the monkey a blue tinge.  Tree-dwelling.


Colobus Monkey, Mt. Kenya, Africa

Colobus Monkey, Mt. Kenya, Africa

We watched these elegant black-and-white colobus monkeys on a walking safari near Mt. Kenya.  Exclusive to Africa, and acrobats in the trees, they precariously flew from one treetop to the next.  They would land in a thatch of green leaves and tumble around until they gained purchase on a limb.


Olive Baboon, Tanzania, Africa

Olive Baboon, Tanzania, Africa

These olive baboons were prevalent in Tanzania and traveled together in large troops.  Dominated by the large males, they often groomed one another, and occasionally had minor social spats.   Papio anubis are the most wide-ranging of all baboons, living in 25 countries throughout Africa.


Brown Capuchin, Peru

Brown Capuchin, Peru

Brown capuchins joined us daily in a cloud forest in Peru, at Cock of the Rock Lodge in Manu National Park.


I have heard so many monkeys landing on our hut roofs in both the Old and New Worlds, that even when I hear something on the roof in a monkey-less land like California, my first thought is “monkey.”


Guatemalan Black Howler Monkey, Belize

Guatemalan Black Howler Monkey, Belize

Howlers are large monkeys, 22-36 inches long (56-92 cm), excluding the long prehensile tail.  Their beauty is their sound, a howling and growling that is unforgettable.  (Wikipedia link here, on the word “Howlers” above, includes a sound byte.)


I love watching monkeys.  They remind me to jump with joy, be active and curious, and tenderly tend to my loved ones.  Happy New Year!


All photos:  Athena Alexander



51 thoughts on “Monkey Business

  1. Monkeys appear to be happy and active all the time. 🙂 The two Colobus Monkeys look very special. Always enjoy reading the information you provide. Thank you! Happy Chinese New Year, Jet!

    • Monkeys are always into things. In the lodges in Africa, workers don’t always like the monkeys, because the monkeys are always scrabbling around the outdoor dining areas getting into food, even lemon wedges left out on the tea cart. I really like that photo (and memorable moment) with the colobus monkeys, too, Amy. Happy Chinese New Year to you, too! 😀

  2. Happy new year to you….Oh I do love monkeys….and can watch them for hours. I feel so connected to them, which indeed we are….and yes, they do remind me of what it is to really live….and play and such tenderness between parent and child. I could go on….:)
    I thought of you over the weekend with the festivities in San Fran…hope you had a fantastic time. janet. ..:)

  3. Let’s hope this is going to be a joyful monkey year! Our squirrels are so big that it really does sound like monkeys are having a party on our roof!

  4. Having just read your Super Bowl post, I wonder if you saw the monkey, puppy, baby commercial on the game. Now THAT was creepy! And rather an insult to monkeys! and puppies and babies, for that matter! And, of course, we as viewers.

  5. You and Athena have put together a fabulous post. I have to say the baboons of Tanzania stole the show. Basically all the other monkeys hung there head in disappointment as the crowd turned to see the herd of baboons.. Or gaggle or passel or whatever a group of baboons might be called. 🙂

    • Yes, wasn’t that baboon troop so big? When a troop that big comes through it is so exciting. Eventually they move on, but until they do, the cameras are clicking. Thanks so much, Sue, I enjoyed your comment. 😀

  6. Who is going to be a late visitor again?Now,you know.I might arrive late,but I arrive …
    Still struggling for weeks,days to catch up but it sounds like a dream for me now.Your gorgeous Monkey post made me feel a bit better,dear Jet.What a splendid idea to put up such an apt post during Chinese NY!You and Athena with her superb photography presented so wonderfully the Monkeys’ world and all their antics.Loved Colobus and the Baboon “gang”,but I was stunned by the serious stare and posture of the Brown Cauchin!It’s quite obvious (s)he posed for Athena!Funny creatures,they are great entertainers.Happy Chinese New Year to you too,Jet my friend 🙂 (✿◠‿◠)

    • Thanks so much for your rich comment, dear Doda. Your words summarized perfectly the wide array of personalities in the monkeys shown here. I am glad this post cheered you, and hope that the playful activity of the monkey helps too. Thanks so much for your visits today. My best to you for a fun weekend ahead. ~~**(*♥*)**~~

      • I was honored to receive your wonderful visits today, dear Doda. Thank you so much for your comments, kind words, and creativity. In the middle of responding to you my computer shut down, but now it is back, and fortunately I didn’t lose anything. 😀 (*Y*) ♥♥♥

      • I am so happy you always read and appreciate my comments,dear friend Jet.I just love your amazing symbols,you,Athena and your exceptional work 🙂 (✿◠‿◠)

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