My name is Georgia and I’m a student at the University of Maryland, majoring in biological anthropology. I have yet to find out if I’m allowed to identify the name of the place I work for, so until I get that figured out, let’s just say I work for a Really Awesome Institution where I run psychological experiments on rhesus macaques. I’m sure you’re having visions of me torturing animals right now, but I can assure you that all the animals are taken care of and given the most humane treatment possible.
I love all animals, but I especially love studying monkey behavior. So often we think of monkeys as barbaric, unevolved, or stupid, but that is just not the case. They are so aware of their surroundings and act just like us in many ways– in fact, the longer I work there, the less of a distinction there seems to be between us. Either this is because I notice more and more how they behave like people or because I unconsciously pick up on their actions… like when I come home and start grooming my friends and think it’s totally normal (yeah, this actually happened).
Sometimes the things I see are hilarious, like when my coworkers and I noticed a baby monkey that looked exactly like the “Home Alone” actor Macaulay Culkin. Other times, I experience events that truly tug on my heartstrings, such as one baby monkey comforting another when it starts to cry, or an adult male trusting me enough to let me hold his hand because I try to take time out of every day to bring him dried apple slices.
So I hope when you read this blog that it makes you laugh. I hope you learn a thing or two, either about monkeys or about how they can explain the way we react to the changing media of the 21st century. But above all, I hope what you take out of New Media Monkey is that even though monkeys are small, furry, and have yet to learn how to do calculus, they can still teach us so much about ourselves, and deserve our respect.
Primate- Includes monkeys, apes, and humans.
Non-human primate- monkeys and apes.
Monkey are not apes. Apes are not monkeys. Gorillas, chimps, and orangutans are all examples of apes, rhesus macaques and marmosets are examples of monkeys.
I do not work with apes and so I have no ape stories, but that won’t stop me from discussing a really cool article about a chimpanzee who knows how to use twitter if I find one.