Tuesday, August 10

Monkeys aren't donkeys

But, its a moot point, since gorillas aren't monkeys. What am I blabbering about, you may say? Well, Molly sent me a highly amusing link about apes from Gizmodo of all places.

Real Life Donkey Kong Playing With His Nintendo DS
Real Life Donkey Kong Playing With His Nintendo DS"Donkey Kong plays Donkey Kong while Donkey Kong Jr. watches. OK, maybe he's not playing DK, but it's just as good. The story involves a kid, a couple of real gorillas at the San Francisco Zoo and a happy ending."

Go read the story, watch the movie, and look at the pictures. Pretty great stuff. I just keep finding more and more little things that make me like Gizmodo.

There's more interesting stuff to be said about the baboons. I have a coda for the woeful tale of Trish in the works, but then I went and of all things, injured my wrist, so I'm trying to keep my keyboard strain to a minimum. But if I had nothing but gorillas and video games news to read about, I'd be happy.


  1. Historically, the word "ape" meant a subcategory of large "monkeys." For a century or so, scientists have adopted the two words as technical terms, and some have tried to forbid the historical use of "monkey" as including "ape." I have no sympathy for this, for linguistic of biological reasons. In the first place, nobody has any business telling the general public how to use a preexisting term that they have borrowed as a term of art. In the second, the use of "monkey" this way is scientifically incoherent, since it insists on "monkey" referring exclusively to a paraphyletic group (rather than a clade).

  2. Hahahahaha, I remember having this conversation with you years ago, but I could never remember what the actual facts were and couldn't manage to find them after a internet scan.

    Its definitely more convenient for me to use monkey as a term which excludes apes, but in legit discussion I seldom use it without establishing whether I'm talking about Old World or New World monkeys first. So, I suppose I could call us "great ape monkeys," but I think that might be part of the point right there, that no one wanted to fight to be able to call humans "monkeys."