The Platyrrhini (Part 1)

Today we dig into the generally smaller, more agile New Monkeys.

In America

Primate lore states that before they left the world, the precursors called some monkeys the New Monkeys. These are the Platyrrhini Clans. Exactly what makes the Platyrrhini new and the Catarrhini old is a matter of much debate amongst monkey theologians, but Platyrrhini orthodoxy states that the precursors created the Old Monkeys first, and then used what they learned to create the upgraded New Monkeys, then decided the world was pretty much finished and left to do something else.

Capuchins (Cebidae Clan)

Capuchins are the smartest of the New Monkeys, and as such they (along with the similarly intelligent spider monkeys) are the sacred keepers of the counterarguments to all the claims by Old Monkeys that New Monkeys suck. For example, when Old Monkeys claim that baboons and mandrills are bigger, therefore Old Monkeys in general are superior, capuchins know to point out that being so big makes them less agile and almost unable to climb trees. This will usually result in the Old Monkey claiming that they can too climb trees, which is the capuchin’s cue to say “you call that climbing?” and laugh.

Capuchins also maintain an ancient tradition supposedly set in place by precursor mandate that certain precursor tokens can be exchanged for sex or a certain amount of food. The currency has no official backing, but most capuchins will accept the standard food/sex exchange rate and are willing to bargain for other items based on how much food the token or tokens are theoretically worth. Many monkeys do not understand the system, and believe either that the capuchins are crazy and believe that the tokens are food, or that they have some black magic for turning the tokens into food. Either way, other monkeys recognize the value of the tokens as a means of compelling capuchins to help.

Howler Monkeys (Alouatta Clan)

Howler monkeys would like you and everyone else in a three mile radius to know that they’re feeling very depressed today. Although howler monkeys are often thought of as extremely angry, and they are indeed easy to upset, it would be more accurate to say that they are constantly very grumpy and morose. They only sound angry because their vocal chords happen to be built for communication across extremely long distances, so any time they raise their voice even a little someone splits an eardrum. Their surly (though fairly non-violent) disposition makes them unpopular amongst other primates, except those who live in heavily industrialized areas, where the howling can harmonize with the grinding of half-maintained precursor machinery.

Marmosets (Mico Clan)

Marmosets are positively tiny little monkeys. Some of them can fit in the palm of a gorilla’s hand. They come together in small-ish family units of about fifteen or so (including children), which can be monogamous, polygamous, or polyandrous, and usually include at least one unrelated male who helps raise the children. They’re not too bright, and often end up getting roped into much smarter primates’ schemes, especially capuchins and chimps, who are always in need of patsies. Left to their own devices, marmosets mark out territory for their families, but are pretty lax about enforcing the borders, especially with other marmosets.


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