Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Variegated Spider Monkey and Wild Yak

Playing catch-up... yes, yes, I'll finish (even though I left out L and M).

Spider Monkeys look like Silent Hill monsters. Okay, I use that comparison a lot, and I know it doesn't mean anything to the majority of people since the majority does not play Silent Hill to understand exactly what I mean.

A quick lesson in identifying a monkey versus an ape: if it has a tail, it's a monkey.

A quick lesson in identifying an Old World monkey (Africa/Asia) versus a New World monkey (South America): if it hangs from a tree by its tail, it's a New World monkey. Even as a kid it bothered me to no end that in The Lion King video game for Sega Genesis, the monkeys hung by their tails!

This prehensile tail of the New World monkeys (prehensile means the tail can wrap around things and grip them) acts as a fifth limb. Because of the way New World monkeys, like spider monkeys, maneuver through the forest, a gripping tail is essential. Old World monkeys don't need that extra appendage.

All right, I feel like I cheated with this one and should have waited until "Y" to do yaks, but it is specifically the Wild Yak that is endangered. For all the typical reasons -- over hunting for their meat and their pelt.

The yak is an integral part of the Tibetan yak herder's diet. So much so that I've heard figures of their diet comprised of 40% of the yak's fatty milk. Yak milk is turned into yak butter, which in turn is turned into bocha, Tibetan butter tea. Before I became vegan, bocha was my favorite comfort drink. The salty, savory drink goes down like a rich broth. Though I'm sure the kind I had was made with standard cow milk butter.

If I could do my life over again, I would be a domestic yak herder. Actually I said this to my partner this morning, and he said, "Well, why can't you do it in this lifetime?" So in a few years when he and I move to Colorado, I might just have a small yak pack.

And I LOVE baby yaks.


  1. Those are cute yaks. I didn't know we had yaks in the US. If you have a half dozen of them is that a six yak pack?
    OK I admit, I like saying yak!

    Thanks for continuing!

  2. Haha, it is a fun word to say!

    There are domesticated yak in the United States, but they're indigenous to Asia, particularly high elevations. Few places in the US have the right climate for yaks. Hence why my partner won't let me get one while we live in Florida! (Yeah, that would be cruel.)

  3. I love the photos of the yaks.

    lol on Heather's six yak pack.

  4. The Wild Yak is a gorgeous creature and the baby is so darn cute.

  5. Ugh. I can't believe I'm saying this.

    Nothing worse than a hot yak!

    Thanks M Pax!

  6. yaks remind me of some ancient beast ..they do resemble strength like taurus's like my self