Wild Fact #389 – Do They Have Bananas in Space? – Rhesus Monkey

Rhesus Monkey | Rhesus Macaque

Photo by Einar Fredriksen (Wikimedia)

Yesterday we observed the incredibly unique Tube Nosed Bat and although there is little information on this newly discovered species, we managed to learn a few things. Today, we are going to study an animal that has more information that we know what to do with. The Rhesus Monkey is actually one of the best known species of Old World Monkeys. The natural range of the famous monkey includes Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and China, however, you will also find a troop or two living in Florida. Yes, you can see wild Rhesus Monkeys in the United States, which were apparently introduced to help enhance a tourist operators “Jungle Cruise”. Something tells me he didn’t have permission to release these monkeys into the Florida landscape.

One Intelligent Monkey

The Rhesus Monkey was able to survive in the forests of Florida due to their intelligence. These animals are able to adapt to many different environments and have been known to live within human settlements throughout India. I guess it is nice to see humans interacting with one of our long lost cousins. Personally, I am not sure if I would want a troop of Rhesus Monkeys living in my neighbourhood. These troops can get as large as 200 members and the Rhesus Monkey isn’t known for being a quiet species. I have a feeling you would have a tough time getting any sleep with an active, noisy troop of 200 monkeys roaming the streets of your neighbourhood.

Rhesus Macaque | Rhesus Monkey

Photo by J.M.Garg (Wikimedia)

The Astronaut

So just how smart is the Rhesus Monkey? Well, they actually beat humans into space! That’s right, this was the species of monkey that we decided to send into space before we made the trip ourselves. For some reason, I can’t get the image of a little monkey in a space suit flying a shuttle out of my head. I guess that must have been “One small step for monkey…..One giant leap for monkey-kind”. ┬áThis isn’t the only time that the Rhesus Monkey has helped out the more “advanced” human race. These little critters have aided a large number of medical and scientific research including the discovery of the different human blood groups. We owe a lot to this little monkey, don’t we? The next time you see a Rhesus Monkey, make sure you thank them for everything they have done.

That does it for today’s history lesson on the incredibly well known Rhesus Monkey. Tune in tomorrow for a lesser known species.

 

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