The Catarrhini (Part 1)

There’s a lot of monkeys. Like, a lot of monkeys. This is good news for me, since I’m trying to stretch this across finals week. The monkey clans are split into two groups, old and new, and we’ll be further splitting those groups into two posts. Up first, the first half of the Catarrhini Clans, the Old Monkeys.

Primate lore holds that before the precursors disappeared, they grouped some clans together as Catarrhini, or “Old World monkeys.” It’s a matter of much debate as to exactly what this means. The Old Monkey clans contain all of the larger monkey types, but also some of the small ones. The official party line of most of the Catarrhini Clans is that the precursors came from another world, an old world, and brought the Old Monkeys with them. The New Monkeys came from the current world, which is the new one, and when the precursors vanished, it was to return to the old world. Whether the precursors left to punish the monkeys, old and new alike, for their wickedness, or because they thought the monkeys had grown enough not to need precursor guidance any longer remains a matter of much theological debate. What all the Catarrhini Clans agree on, however, is that older is definitely better.  Since the New Monkey theology requires the precursors to be creators (the New Monkeys believe that they are newer, upgraded versions of the Old Monkeys) and the Catarrhini theology does not, most Old Monkeys believe that the precursors didn’t create the other primates at all.

Baboons (Papio Clan)

Baboons are the largest of the monkeys, and have a reputation for being the most vicious, which is at least in part well-earned due to the massive fangs they’re sporting. Baboons are very loyal to their clan. Baboons will raise orphaned baboons from other troops and make friendships with baboons who they are not related to by blood or mating, and they have less loyalty to their troop than most other clans.

Colobi (Colobinae Clan)

Colobi (singular colobus) are small, leaf-eating herbivores who are quite territorial, something which works out for them only because the trees they occupy are the ones that produce only leaves, not fruit, and therefore nobody wants them except other colobi. A colobus’ thumb is a stump, which makes it hard for them to properly wield and aim firearms. Colobi proper are from the Colobus Sub-Clan, but are almost never NCOs. Instead, colobi squads that aren’t led by apes are usually led by the very similar but much smarter surilis (singular surili) of the Presbytis Sub-Clan. While surilis are not technically colobi, they’re usually referred to as such.

Macaques (Macaca Clan)

Macaques are everywhere. They are the most common primate clan, and the most physically diverse. Some macaques are nearly pacifist and share territory with other primates. Others are territorial and aggressive. What binds them together is their hierarchical nature, with each macaque in a troop having rank in relation to all the others, and higher rank macaques having free access to basically anything a lower rank macaque owns. While most clans are a very loose binding of traditions, the Macaca Clan is a fairly complex organization unto itself, with its own ranks and a much larger body of tradition regulating macaque lifestyle and separating macaques of different rank.


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