A Tour of the Hall of Primates at the American Museum of Natural History

Suzen Tekla Kruglnska
Sep 13 · 3 min read

Now, children. Shhhh. Pay attention, please. Welcome to our Hall of Primates. We, as humans, are primates, so say hello to your many taxidermy-ed cousins. Most museum guests walk right past this exhibit, so these guys are excited to see you.

Here we see the lion marmoset, also known as the “evil clown monkey.” Why, yes, one of these could easily survive for many years living in the sewer system. Thank you for your question, sweetheart.

Sapajou uses his canine teeth, on display here, to tear through flesh and bone with ease. I sure hope he doesn’t reach through the glass and grab your arm. Ha ha! Juuuust kidding.

That thing in the orangutan’s hand is a chestnut. Chest. Nut. Chestnut.

I‘m sure you’ve all visited adorable lemurs at the zoo, playing and cuddling each other. Well, as you can see from this fellow’s face, it’s not quite as much fun being a motionless carcass trapped for eternity in a glass case. Wish I could help you, little guy…

The woolly monkey, found in the rainforests of northern South America, is known for its woolly fur and its ability to retrieve and eat the eyes of little children from surrounding villages.

The muriqui, the largest of the New World monkeys, is endangered, lonely, and really just wants to be loved. Young lady, I think he’s got his eye on you!

The gibbon, in this posture, can walk in a way that eerily resembles human strides. And they are quick. So technically, yes, they do have the ability to come strolling down the hallway at school looking for you. Such great questions!

Langurs are the happiest monkeys of them all.

The howler monkey is one of the animals that inspired the creatures from Where the Wild Things Are, and may be found lurking in children’s closets at night as they sleep. Yes, Ms. Stavropoulos, this has been documented in several scientific journals.

The bearded saki can get a little angry when it hears children asking to leave the exhibit.

Hey, look over your shoulder! It’s Mr. Proboscis Monkey saying hello!

This is the actual squirrel monkey that sat on Jack Sparrow’s shoulder in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Little boy, why are you crying?


Suzen Tekla Kruglnska

Written by

Freelance writer, editor, and podcaster (The Shining 2:37, Rosemary’s Baby 6:66). I have confidence in ME! (Just kidding.) skruglnska.com

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