Here in Ann Arbor

And getting ready for my thing today with Toby and Paul. Aaaaaaaaaand that’s all you’re getting today from me because I’m, like, getting ready for my thing with Toby and Paul. And then I have to drive home. So, you know. Busy with the real world.

In the meantime: What’s your favorite type of primate that is not a human (specifically homo sapiens sapiens, i.e., us)? Feel free to list currently extinct species of primates. Show your work.

62 Comments on “Here in Ann Arbor”

  1. golden tamarins. They’re featured at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, and in fact, are allowed to roam relatively freely in one section of the park. Because they’re family-oriented, and tend to stick close to home base.

  2. Squirrel Monkeys. One, they’ve got a great name. Two, they’re tiny, freakishly so.

    P.S. @#4, Scalzi said primates. Bipedal reptiles don’t count.

  3. Quote: “# Jenny Rae Rappaporton 24 Aug 2008 at 11:34 am

    If I had all the money in the world, a big chunk of it would go to the Gorilla Foundation! =)”


  4. Pygmy Marmosets. Because they are very, very small. Or Aye-ayes, because they defend themselves from human predation by freaking people way the hell out.

  5. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, because brow ridges are butch, and because The Neanderthal Parallax by Robert J. Sawyer is a fun read.

    Also, because they get crapped on by a certain insurance company, and species-ism just isn’t cool.

  6. H. sapiens neanderthalensis, because they were either a non-ancestral human who shared the European peninsula with my ancestors, or, as some claim, may have contributed genetic material to my Eastern European forebears.

    Either way, I’m fascinated by Ice Age Europe, and wonder what kind of real interaction went on between Neandertals and Cro-Magnon peoples.

  7. Capuchin monkeys which are sometimes used as assistance animals. Gorillas rock also.

  8. Homo post hominem. Because it would be nice to know that there is a second team if we should hump the bunk.

    The mere fact that we have yet to identify Hph should not be such a large impediment to favorite status.

  9. Please don’t taunt the Dynamite Monkey!

    *Eh, my mind’s not working on normal wavelengths today.*

  10. I’ll vote for our extinct cousins the Neandertals too!

    P.S. A lot of scientists nowadays see them as a full species: Homo neanderthalensis.

  11. Homo floresiensis, and not just because it most unequivocally is a distinct species derived from hominins, but also because I adore that John Gurche painting made for National Geographic with the hobbit facing off an ora.

  12. Favorite non-human primate. Hmmm. That probably lets out a couple of members of our state legislature. I’m not sure they would count as primates. I guess I’ll have to second the Bonobos. Sex all the time with whoever is handy. Can’t fault that “lifestyle choice.”

  13. I am contractually obligated by my employers to say “chimpanzees” even though they’re so much like us that to be honest, they’re not really all that likable . . .

  14. The macaque. Because I was watching David Attenborough’s “Planet Earth” series again recently and they were very impressive swimming under water to find food. And I’ve always rather admired how they are prone to stealing stuff from tourists.

  15. I don’t personally know any extinct species of primates (or extant ones either) so I can’t really say.

    However, John’s appearance in Ann Arbor was great fun–thanks John! And thanks for signing my copy of Zoe’s Tale!
    This was my husband’s first author panel and signing, so it’s good he started with the best. He enjoyed it a lot.
    This comment might even show up before John gets home.

  16. I’m going to go with gibbons, because everybody always forgets about the other ape. Although I have had lemurs climbing all over me. Little known fact: they have fangs. Not that they’d ever use them for anything other than cutting through a banana skin, but still. Fangs.

  17. Another vote here for a) lemurs, because they’re adorable, and b) finding most other non-human primates terrifying and/or creepy. Tarsiers are almost cute, but they have creepy little stick-hands.

  18. Homo erectus. Because that name’s like, cool. Oh, and the whole tool thing.

    I don’t understand the condition though. Does anyone have homo sapiens sapiens in their top 20?

  19. Either Australopithicus afarensis “Lucy”, or Australopithicus megapodes (Bigfoot).

  20. Bushbabies. They’re super-adorable little foot-tall guys, but they travel on the ground by hopping something like 10 feet a hop. Also, they sound like babies and freak people out.

    I’d also put in a word for the slow loris since it may be the cutest animal in the world.

  21. When I was growing up, the summer home of Sabo’s Chimps (who used to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows, as well as perform in movies) was in a small combination trailer and wild animal park between Millbrook and Amenia, NY just off Route 44. My dad delivered eggs from the farm to auction in Amenia every week, and I’d often go along to help load and unload the truck. I’d bug him on a regular basis about taking the family there. We went one time when I was about 11. They let the trained, performing chimps just wander around the property (such a more innocent time) and one of the chimps took a liking to me and wanted to play, so he (or she. I’m really not sure) grabbed me by the hand and started walking off with me. If I’d known then what I know about chimps today, I’d have been scared shitless, but thanks to my naivete, I stayed calm and a minute of so later one of the trainers came over, and the chimp lost interest in me. So, I’m thinking for me, it’s the chimps, so I briefly had one for a friend.

  22. Second vote for gibbons in general, siamangs included. Out of an order that is chock full of critters that are entirely too much like humans minus the redeeming features, gibbons form strong family bonds, don’t tend to abuse their young, and substitute a lot of hollering for the disturbingly warlike tendencies some other primate groups have.

  23. I third the vote for bonobos, the only primates that have never been observed to kill their own kind. And the sex thing is good too.

  24. John, I got wind of your work from Joe Mallozzi’s blog. Just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I enjoyed Androids Dream and Old Mans War. Ghost Bridges is next and I’m sure that will be a good read to. Thanks for your time.

  25. From the moment I became a baby anthropologist (please note, I’ve never been more than a baby anthropologist), I’ve had an insane passion for proconsul.

    It’s the name. And the tooth enamel. And that my other passion at the time was ancient Rome. It was like… *puts hands out like a scale* Rome! Monkeys! And proconsul was where the two overlapped in the Venn diagram. (Plus, like, maybe in the Arena.)

  26. I’m more partial to Jasmine…the combination of the petite and the bloodthirsty-ness is intriguing.

  27. Not sure about the gibbons, because it’s well known that on Christmas, they run rampant through insane asylums, wreaking havoc, hunting down, killing, and eating the unfortunate residents.

    Yes, everyone knows that yule gibbons ate fruits and nuts.

    (And yes, I totally stole that joke from Spider Robinson.)

  28. Re #21: “what kind of real interaction went on between Neandertals and Cro-Magnon peoples”

    They cohabited regions of Europe and the Middle East, usually in different microclimates. The Cro-Magnon might take the land closer to the river, and the Neandertals up in the hills.

    They traded trinkets, minerals, and both played music. Neandertals invented the bagpipes, according to recvent interpretation of archaeological evidence. Neandertals first had flutes made from hollowed animal bones.

    Still unclear if Neandertals could talk. “The Inheritors” postulated that Neandertals were the empathetic, quasi-telepathic ones, and Cro-Magnon the nonempathetic mutant invaders for whom spoken language was the sustained competitive advantage.

    Or maybe Cro-Magnon had the advantage of coevolving with dogs, giving them advantage as hunters over the Neandertals, who considered wolves and their descendants as mere enemies.

    Isaac Asimov: “The Ugly Little Boy.”

    Don’t know. Good question.

  29. #3. Bonobos – hippy commie apes
    #2. Orang-utans – smart; only other practitioners of the Missionary Position
    #1. Pak Protectors – Because Larry Niven invented them.

  30. I’ll have to say silver back gorillas, very family oriented. The Atlanta Zoo has a great silver back exhibit & habitat, and one of the most successful captive breeding programs.

    and Jerry Critter @ 47: thanks for the shout-out to my mispent youth! I was a Davey Jones fan myself, and still have a fair collection of the original vinyl. Hey, Hey I’m a Monkee…

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