Monthly Archives: September 2012

Time for some MonkeyBuiznezz!

Leaders, hunters, donors, entertainers, companions and even …astronauts? Your thinking -Alexander the Great, Buffalo Bill, Sinatra, Neil Armstrong? Think again! I m talking about Mandrills, African Green Monkeys, Baboons ,Chimpanzees and Miss Baker, the first Squirrel Monkey to go to space. They have intricate social structures. Various exquisite physical appearances. Adaptation mechanisms that would make Bear Grylls turn green from envy. The list goes on and on. Primates are an extraordinary and entertaining species -come and discover it yourself! Because ,no matter how human – we always have time for some MonkeyBuiznezz!



Heroes have their moments -the courageous firefighter who is praised in the media after rushing in to a collapsing burning building to save a child, the scientist who found the cure to a vicious disease. But today’s moment belongs to the recognition of a little known life saver the Green Monkey. On March 27 th, 1962, in a lab in Japan,a kidney was removed from a male adult African Green Monkey ( Cercopithecus aethiops ) The lineage of cells that was discovered , was  dubbed “Vero cells” from “Verda Reno” (green kidney in Esperanto).Used in diagnostic virology and for the manufacture of viral vaccines, the Vero cells have become a major aid in battling devastating viral diseases of man- Poliovirus (which in severe cases causes damage to the Central Nervous System and paralysis ) and rabies(if you don’t know what rabies is- slap yourselves and google it.)

Vero Cells extracted from the kidney of an African Green Monkey:

Aneuploid (abnormal number of chromosomes) and continuous, the incredible function of these cells lies in their capability to be replicated through numerous cycles of division without becoming senescent(which is a fancy medical term for old – think  the term senile.) Talk about valuable material. But people tend to forget (or be completely oblivious too) of the who behind the what. So lets take this moment and  acknowledge a hero of millions today-the donor:

The Green Monkey 

Author: Anna Artsibasheva

On Butts and Baboons….

Yes, we all had seen the pictures. The unmistakable “baboon butt”. Red and swollen, this tooshie bears more fame and recognition then the booty of Kim Kardashian. But far more remarkable than its gruesome appearance is its purpose yes, its purpose. For in fact this distinguishing anatomical feature of the baboon, (also present in mangabeys , mandrills , guenons , patas monkeys , and macaques) is yet another exquisite manifestation of evolution itself.

You see, just like the celebrity opting for the penthouse that keeps them far away from the intrusion of fans and paparazzi predators, these Old World Monkeys prefer the high branches of trees to keep them out of harm’s (and deadly jaws) reach.Imagine sitting on a branch all day long and THEN sleeping on it as well. Quite uncomfortable, one would suppose. But thanks to the magical process that we know as evolution, mother nature has given the monkey butt a solution.

Voila!-cue ischial callosities-pads of roughed skin formed over the underlying ischial tuberosity . In layman’s terms – one big monkey butt callous. Like the ones we get on our hands and feet . Though callouses can be quite annoying at times to humans, for them it’s like having a Lazy-Boy permantley attached to their behind.

Nature’s Lazy-Butt . 

Features include: No slip, comfortable sitting and sleeping upright for long periods of time on rough surfaces. Imagine walking around with a Lazy-Boy pillow permanently stuck to your behind: man’s dream – monkey’s reality.

As well as being a comfy cushion, the ischial callosities serves as an indicator for male primates that a female is fertile and ready to engage in intercourse, therefore increasing the chances of a succesful copulation. Dominant males display larger and brighter ischial callositis, which helps display their status to both enemies and possible mates. 

Author: Anna Artsibasheva 

Setting it straight….


I have heard one to many times that people refer to Rafiki from the Lion King
as to a Baboon. Well, as much as I respect baboons  , I dont think it would be fair to let them claim Rafiki to their race. That would be like claiming Polar bears comg from Polland. No, my friends RAFIKI IS A MANDRILL. One of the most exquisitley colored  species of primates, the Mandrill’s fur looks as though it rolled around in a rainbow.


Yes, its butt is pink and blue. But do not be fooled by the girly colors- that color scheme is a major object of desire both by females and males in the hordes of Mandrills. Just like the girl in high school with the shiniest hair – the most colorful tooshie becomes the alpha male amongst the Mandrills.  Leading through the jungle, the alpha male walks in front of the horde , using its colorful hinny as a flag to follow.