Monkeys are haplorhine ("dry-nosed") primates, a group generally possessing tails and consisting of approximately 260 known living species. Many monkey species are tree-dwelling (arboreal), although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Most species are also active during the day (diurnal). Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent, particularly Old World monkeys.

Lemurs, lorises, and galagos are not monkeys; instead they are strepsirrhine ("wet-nosed") primates. Like monkeys, tarsiers are haplorhine primates; however, they are also not monkeys. There are two major types of monkey: New World monkeys (platyrrhines) from South and Central America and Old World monkeys (catarrhines of the superfamily Cercopithecoidea) from Africa and Asia. Hominoid apes (gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans), which all lack tails, are also catarrhines but are not considered monkeys. (Tailless monkeys may be called "apes", incorrectly according to modern usage; thus the tailless Barbary macaque is sometimes called the "Barbary ape".) Because Old World monkeys are more closely related to hominoid apes than to New World monkeys, yet the term "monkey" excludes these closer relatives, monkeys are referred to as a paraphyletic group.

Animal rights casesEdit

Macaca nigra self-portrait large

Self-portrait of a female Celebes crested macaque (Macaca nigra) in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, who had picked up photographer David Slater's camera and photographed herself with it.

Silver Spring monkeys caseEdit

An undercover investigation by Alex Pacheco with the then small PETA led to the first police raid in the U.S. against an animal researcher. Police entered the Institute and removed the monkeys, charging researcher Edward Taub with 17 counts of animal cruelty and failing to provide adequate veterinary care. The ensuing battle over the monkeys' custody saw celebrities and politicians campaign for the monkeys' release, an amendment in 1985 to the Animal Welfare Act, the transformation of PETA from a group of friends into a national movement, the creation of the first North American Animal Liberation Front  cell, and the first animal research case to reach the United States Supreme Court.

Monkey selfie caseEdit

The monkey selfies are a series of images taken by a female Celebes crested macaque using equipment belonging to the nature photographer David Slater. The posting of the images on Wikimedia Commons was at the center of a dispute in mid-2014 over whether copyright could be held on artworks made by non-human animals. Slater's claim of copyright on the images was disputed by several scholars and organizations, based on an understanding that copyright was held by the creator, and that a non-human creator (not being a legal person) could not hold copyright. In December 2014, the United States Copyright Office stated that works created by a non-human are not subject to U.S. copyright.

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