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Nature: Clever Monkeys

Love, language, guilt, envy, generosity, secrets, lies and sophisticated society are not unique to humans. We share those complex traits with our relatives -- the monkeys. NATURE travels around the world to visit some of these fascinating primates. From tiny pygmy marmoset in South America to aggressive baboons of Africa and compassionate toque macaques in Sri Lanka, Clever Monkeys challenges many ideas about what is purely “human.”

White faced capuchins in a tree

White faced capuchins in a tree

Credit: ©BBC

“Clever Monkeys” features the golden snubnose monkey of China. These rare and curious monkeys live high in the Sichuan Mountains. Their curly lips and blue eye-shadow are a mystery.

“Clever Monkeys” features the golden snubnose monkey of China. These rare and curious monkeys live high in the Sichuan Mountains. Their curly lips and blue eye-shadow are a mystery.

Credit: ©Miles Barton 2000

Toque macaques

Toque macaques

Credit: ©BBC

Pygmy marmoset

Pygmy marmoset

Credit: ©BBC

Sooty mangabey

Sooty mangabey

Credit: ©BBC

Patas monkey

Patas monkey

Credit: ©BBC

Rhesus macaque and baby

Rhesus macaque and baby

Credit: ©Charlotte Scott 2007

Tai, a sooty mangabey in the African rainforest, is one of the troop of multilingual monkeys, eight species who all understand each other's calls.

Tai, a sooty mangabey in the African rainforest, is one of the troop of multilingual monkeys, eight species who all understand each other's calls.

Credit: ©Florian Möllers 1988

“Clever Monkeys” features a Hanuman langur and her baby in India. Baby monkeys grow very slowly to allow time for their brains to develop.

“Clever Monkeys” features a Hanuman langur and her baby in India. Baby monkeys grow very slowly to allow time for their brains to develop.

Credit: ©Elizabeth White 2008

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