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Gray-handed Night Monkeys

Photo credit: ©Lida Trujillo/iNaturalist/Creative Commons.



. . . dubbed Aotus griseimembr by Dan G. Elliot in 1912, nocturnal,

smaller than kittycats and monogamous, raising

their kits together: he the carrying,

the lactation she—naturally;

it must be

thirty million years ago or so that these critters' ancestors

were swept here—flotsam from the sea,

with opposable thumbs (like you and me);

then, around 1499, a big, fiercer upright ape came floating in,

whose descendants farm Andean forests today, cultivating coca for El Norte's discreet discerning noses.

These "owl monkeys" are threatened and vulnerable. You can buy their babies in pet stores,

some plucked from their mothers' backs as young as three days' old.

It's legal to own a monkey in Virginia, and in most of the red half of these disunited states.

They sometimes live to be twenty!


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