For the longest time, I have known monkeys make me uncomfortable. I avoid them every chance I get. If I see an enclosure at the zoo containing a monkey, I avoid it. I just do not like them and have not figured out why I dislike them.
My distaste for monkeys doesn’t include all monkey types. Some of them, like squirrel monkeys, are actually kind of cute. They are small and cute enough that I am willing to forgive them for their monkeyness. However, there is one monkey I absolutely, positively cannot stand: the bald uakari.
It is a type of primate found in the Amazon, Brazil and Peru. They typically live around palm tree habitats in large family groups. They also tend to sleep in groups of 50-200 individuals to protect themselves against predators such as snakes or birds of prey.
It would be safe to assume from the name that the “bald uakari” is in fact bald, but that’s not really the case. They have some fuzz on their foreheads, but not the amount of hair and fur the rest of their bodies have. The other strange thing about the animal is its extremely red face. It reminds me of one of those diagrams that science teachers and professors have to show different muscles in the body. The head and faces of these monkeys really do look like the character Red Skull from “Captain America.”
The bald uakari’s red face is a good thing, despite its off-putting appearance. Their faces are so red because their blood vessels are located close to the surface of the skin. The vibrant, bold red most people see means the monkey is getting proper nutrients from fruit, seeds and insects, as well as being well hydrated. National Geographic mentioned some scientists believe the red face is attractive to potential mates because sick animals have pale faces.
They are the same size as a chihuahua, just in monkey shape, and can live up to 20 years.
I know I should be sympathetic to the monkeys because they are listed as a vulnerable species, but I just don’t like them. They are bright red and weird.