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#208 Northern Muriqui

Critically Endangered

These are called wooly spider monkeys, but are also known as the hippie monkey. There are old world monkeys, and new world monkeys. All monkeys have tails, even if they are essentially not visible like the vestigial tail of the Barbary Macaque. Old world monkeys don't have prehensile tails, and are more related to humans and apes. The northern Muriqui is a new world monkey, and the largest species of all the new world ones, weighing up to 20 pounds or even a little more. They are from Brazil, and are the largest endemic mammal there, but even many people in the country have never heard about them. There was an attempt to get them more attention by having them be the mascot for the Rio Olympics, but that didn't happen. Though they have insanely long thin arms and legs, they have a bit of a beer belly. It makes them look sort of like an old guy on stilts, or a pregnant super model maybe. They live in large groups from 40 to almost 100 of them. The reason they are called the hippie monkeys is they wake up in the morning and do a group hug, making a sort of friendly monkey version of a rat king. They also don't fight each other for food or other things other monkeys fight for. The Southern Muriqui (also at risk) and pretty much every single other monkey is known for fighting and teasing each other regularly.

My kids are a bit over 2 1/2 years apart in age. Their whole life they have rarely fought. I have stressed to them all the time that their friends may come and go, but their brother is the only brother they will ever have. They have very different personalities. My oldest is a pretty good mix of my husband and me. He's able to chat with people, and likes being around people unlike my husband, but is not as comfortable with being outgoing as me. My youngest is my husband amplified. I married an extreme introvert, and my youngest is probably the most introverted person I've ever met. I'm one of those who adopts introverts and I love them to bits, often making them uncomfortable until they get used to me. I don't think I shared this story, but I'm forgetful so who knows, maybe I have. I was in the cafeteria and didn't see any friends to eat with, but I did see a guy I had a class with. I went over to him and said hi, I'm going to eat with you today! It totally threw him because he was off on the edge of the cafeteria, all alone at the table, and I plopped right down next to him and started chatting. We became friends, and he ended up joining the theater with me. He never got to be outgoing, I don't know if truly introverted people ever do, but he would finally talk to people.

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