This Surreal Looking Monkey Actually Exists
Imagine floating down the Amazon River, as it winds its way through the Brazilian jungle. And from that dense foliage emerges a troop of bright red, bald-headed monkeys.
Encountering bald uakaris in their native habitat - an increasingly thin stretch of jungle around the Amazon River basin - is just that surreal.
The monkeys live up to 20 years, reaching around 60 inches in length. Their jaws are powerful enough to clamp down and crack open a notoriously tough Brazil nut.
Little else about this monkey makes sense, it seems, in monkey terms - from the absence of a long, sinewy tail to that glaring scalp, so crimson it might at first suggest a very angry, old man.
That staggering redness is, of course, what makes the bald uakari so special.
It's the result of capillaries lurking just beneath the skin and, according to a 2015 study published in Royal Society Open Science, a telltale indicator of the monkey's health.
The redder the better.
The bald uakari may be nature's brightest lightbulb, but, sadly, that lightbulb is flickering toward extinction.
As the Amazon goes, so too does the bald uakari. Mining and timber operations are claiming increasingly greater swaths of the jungle, devouring the monkey's habitat.
The beleaguered animals are familiar sites at local markets, where they're sold as pets.The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a conservation society that assesses the extinction risk of thousands of the world's animals, classifies bald uakaris as "vulnerable" on its Red List of Threatened Species. While the organization claims it's difficult to peg an exact population, it suggests the monkeys may have already gone extinct in nearby Colombia.
The world could use all the bright lights it can get. Support organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and the Amazon Conservation Organization in their fight to preserve the Amazon - which is home to one in 10 of the world's known species.
Like the bald uakari.
Watch a clip of a boat being boarded by a troop of bald uakaris below.