The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe Tantalus Monkey - Issue Twelve
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The Tantalus Monkey, photo from Christian ArtusoThe Tantalus Monkey is an Old World monkey which traditionally ranges from Senegal and Ethiopia to South Africa. More recently, a number of them were carried by slavers to the Caribbean islands, along with enslaved Africans. The monkeys subsequently escaped or were released and became naturalized. The descendents of those populations are found on West Indian islands and even in Florida. The dorsal fur of Chlorocebus monkeys varies by species from pale yellow through grey-green brown to dark brown, while the lower portion and the hair ring around the face is a whitish yellow. Males have a blue scrotum and red penis and weigh from 3.9 to 8 kg while females weigh from 3.4 to 5.3 kg. Their births usually happen at the beginning of the rainy season, when there is sufficient food available. The life expectancy of the green monkeys is 11-13 years in captivity, and about 10-12 years in the wild. They eat leaves, gum, seeds, nuts, grasses, fungi, fruit, berries, flowers, buds, shoots, invertebrates, bird eggs, birds, lizards, rodents, and other vertebrates. Their preferred foods are fruit and flowers, a seasonal resource that is varied to cope with changes in food availability. In tourist areas, they will commonly steal brightly coloured alcoholic drinks left behind by tourists. They use a wide variety of vocalizations; they warn off members of other groups from their territory, and also warn members of their own troop of dangers from predators, using different calls for different predators. Facial expressions and body posturing serve as additional communication tools in a highly complex set of social interactions. Where alliances can be formed for benefit, deception is sometimes used. Although they are not endangered, their numbers are declining due to powerlines, dogs, vehicles, shooting, poisoning, and hunting, both as a food source and as a source of traditional medicines. Added to this, there is an increase in desertification, and loss of habitat due to agriculture and urbanisation. As well, they have been the focus of much scientific research since the 1950s, and they are used to produce vaccines for polio and smallpox, and in studying high blood pressure and AIDS.

   


The Sadness of Dads - Paul Hostovsky The responsibilities of fatherhood can be said to last a lifetime; and apparently this carries across species

Out on a Limb - Michael C. Keith When world-wide environmental disaster arrives with a whimper we are left suffocating by our own hand

An Elegy for the News - Iftekhar Sayeed We all remember the "Kent State Tragedy" and the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" in Newsweek, but do we realize the same bias is happening in news about the Middle East? Here is a refresher course.

Back in her Day - John Grey Ever wonder why your new clothes were deteriorating and your grandparents were still wearing those old suits?

Fox News: First Impressions and a Pot-shot or Two - Fred Russell Another provocative diatribe against the news--in this case Fox News--takes its reader to unfamiliar places

Abolish Work: The Art of Zen-Surrealism - Alison Ross A saucy rant on what you should be doing instead of giving your life to the boss and your money to Wal-Mart

The Presidentís Last Budget Proposal - by Henry F. Tonn Many public policies die in committees, but few presidents want to die with them

The Fragging Episode - Jim Valvis Difference is a result of difference, but it can also arise, in the hands of a mob, out of defiance

It's Best to Leave Cootie Alone - Donal Mahoney Post-traumatic stress disorder is not merely confined to the past or certain people, but sometimes it takes a stranger to bring it out

Prejudice - James G. Piatt In this parable of modern living, Piatt confirms that the many faces of prejudgment is alive and well in his mythical border town

In Summation - Holly Day A quick stroll through the mind of a disgruntled office worker is not the most pleasant trip we'll ever take

Strays - Raud Kennedy The same authority figures are there to trap us no matter what species of stray we are

 

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