The monkey has remarkable intelligence and adaptibility and has enjoyed a close relationship over millennia with human societies. Monkey deities feature prominently in the ancient religions of India, China, Egypt and Central America. Among peoples of tropical Africa, monkey masks and images are still in use in various ceremonies, dances and rituals. Monkeys are present in the human arts of carving, cartoons and painting, as Desmond Morris explores in this book. Yet numerous species continue to be exploited by humans in ways as various as labouring on coconut farms, performing in many parts of Asia for tourists and in the West in circuses, serving as substitute astronauts in space experiments and working as domestic companions for the disabled. New monkey species are still being discovered, for example the blond capuchin (long thought extinct) in Brazil in 2006, and the Burmese snub-nosed monkey in 2010. But the future is not secure: some species are declining at a frightening rate, and logging and related agribusiness industries daily shrink further their natural habitats. And monkeys are bushmeat in some tropical countries. Morris's Monkey is the up-to-date appraisal of the past, present and possible future of one of the most inquisitive and playful animals on our planet.
Introduction 1 Sacred Monkeys 2 Tribal Monkeys: Myths and Superstitions 3 Monkeys Despised 4 Lustful Monkeys 5 Monkeys Enjoyed 6 Monkeys Exploited 7 Monkey Quotations 8 Monkeys and Artists 9 Monkeys as Animals 10 Unusual Monkeys 11 Rare Monkeys 12 Newly Discovered Monkeys 13 Intelligent Monkeys Timeline Appendix 1: Classification Appendix 2: Monkeys in the Language References Bibliography Associations and Websites Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index