Primates are some of the most clever and intelligent animals on earth, and they hold a special place in the hearts of millions of people worldwide. Their ranks include monkeys, apes, baboons, lemurs, and even human beings. They can be found all over the world, and many societies have worshipped them for their guile, wit, and loyalty. While many of these animals are cute and lovable, there are a whole lot of weird looking primates out there that are almost too unusual to believe.
These strange primates can be found everywhere from the natural hot springs of Japan to the deserts of Arabia to the largest rainforests on earth. Whether they have blue faces or red, huge noses or none at all, crazy-looking primates are as common in the animal kingdom as their more normal cousins. Out of the over 600 known species in the world, these are the absolute freakiest looking primates in nature.
Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkeys Were Just Recently Discovered
When the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey was discovered in 2010, it was immediately put on the endangered species list after the only known specimen was killed and eaten by local villagers. Since then, we’ve learned many things about this unusual monkey, including that it has a near-allergic reaction to rain. Because they lack noses, rain water can easily slide down their nostrils and cause them to have violent sneezing attacks. Unfortunately, these newly discovered monkeys are experiencing a host of catastrophic challenges to their survival, including being victims of hunting and deforestation. There may even be as few as 300 left in the wild - a grim number for such a newly discovered species.
These mustachioed weirdos are known for their ridiculous handlebars and adorable appearance. They are endemic to South America, but can only be found in the lush Amazon rainforest. They are very small - no bigger than a squirrel - and are covered in silver fur. Women rule in emperor tamarin society, with groups being led by the most mature females. Interestingly, females have a much greater range of vision and are able to see more colors than their male counterparts, and they typically give birth to twins who can live for up to 15 years.see more on Emperor Tamarin
Geladas have been referenced as having bleeding hearts because of the unique, hairless patch of red skin found at the center of their chests. The toughest males are thought to have the brightest chests, which makes the marking a bit of a status symbol. Geladas are found high in the mountains of Ethiopia, living in hilly grasslands where they spend their days grazing on grass and roots. They are the only living species of primates that get almost all of their nutrition from grass, a trait that is much more common in ungulates than monkeys. Geladas travel in some of the largest groups of the primate world, with up to 1,200 individuals coming together to graze and socialize.see more on Gelada
Aye-ayes are a nocturnal species endemic exclusively to the island of Madagascar. While these bizarre animals may look more like rats than monkeys, they are indeed primates who have evolved some unique features: their massive eyes are so well adapted to the dark that they can actually see color in the dead of night.
And their nightmarishly thin fingers actually act as specialized tools to help them extract insects from inside trees. There is also a native superstition that paints the aye-aye as a symbol of bad luck and Madagascar locals have been known to kill them out of fear. These killings and the rapid loss of their natural environment are responsible for the aye-ayes status on the endangered species list.see more on Aye-aye