PDA

View Full Version : Which primate would make the best pet? Don't need answer fast


cwthree
07-31-2011, 08:13 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I neither plan nor desire to keep any kind of pet primate. My question is entirely hypothetical and, I hope, entertaining.

So let's imagine that I'm minding my own business at home when I hear a knock. I open the door, and there's a guy with a clipboard. "Can I help you?" I ask. "I'm here with your primate," he replies. I don't remember ordering a primate, so I press him for details. It seems that thanks to the Pointless Aggravation Act of 2012, selected American households - mine included - are required to choose a pet ape, monkey or other primate. "Pick any one you want. You're welcome to climb on board the truck and look around. We've got all kinds." I look past him and sure enough, there's an enormous truck behind him bearing the legend "Apes 'n' More."

We walk out to the truck and he helps me into the back; in Harry Potter-movie fashion, it's much larger inside than outside, large enough, in fact, to hold one of every kind of primate found on earth. Every animal on the truck is healthy and well-adjusted (for its species). I am promised a lifetime supply of appropriate food, supplements, and medication for the one I select. I'll also be provided with appropriate support should I have any other questions about my primate in the future.

I know that chimps make horrible pets. I can't take the easy out and say "I'll take a human," because that's illegal under state, federal and international law. Beyond that, I know nothing.

Which primate should I pick? I have a small house with a small yard in a nice neighborhood in a major city in the upper Midwest in the United States. Help me out. The guy with the clipboard is getting impatient.

running coach
07-31-2011, 08:18 PM
Pygmy marmosets. (http://s3.amazonaws.com/readers/2011/03/30/marmoset_1.jpeg) I don't know how they would be as pets but they can't rip an arm off. Maybe an eyelash.

MEBuckner
07-31-2011, 08:21 PM
You're basic organ grinder monkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-headed_Capuchin) (the White-Headed Capuchin) seems pretty smart, sociable, smallish, and not too likely to eat your face off.

StGermain
07-31-2011, 08:27 PM
Skald, is that you?

StG

MEBuckner
07-31-2011, 08:29 PM
You're basic organ grinder monkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-headed_Capuchin) (the White-Headed Capuchin) seems pretty smart, sociable, smallish, and not too likely to eat your face off.
You are a basic organ grinder monkey? :smack: Your basic organ grinder monkey....

cwthree
07-31-2011, 08:30 PM
Hmm. Those marmosets are cute, but I see that capuchins are supposed to be intelligent. On the other hand, I see that capuchins

...sometimes engage[s] in a practice known as "urine washing", in which the monkey rubs urine on its feet

Besides homo, has any other primate been successfully house-trained, i.e. trained to use a toilet, a litter box, or the outdoors reliably and consistently? I do have some nice furniture, after all, and the interior of the house was recently painted.

cwthree
07-31-2011, 08:32 PM
Skald, is that you?

StG

I am not Skald, just bored of a late Sunday afternoon. ;)

Lumpy
07-31-2011, 08:38 PM
The smaller the better. Primates have all of humanity's bad traits and none of the good ones.

Lemur866
07-31-2011, 09:01 PM
Monkeys make horrible pets. You can't think of them as a pet, you have to think of them as an aggressive retarded kid who can climb and bite like hell, and will never be potty trained.

Lemur866
07-31-2011, 09:08 PM
Forgot that I don't have a choice. I'm liking the pygmy marmoset. More like owning a squrrel than a monkey. Only problem is they mostly eat tree sap. How the heck are you supposed to keep the bastards fed?

Although with the recurring lice problem at my daughter's school, maybe I should go with the baboon.

Freudian Slit
07-31-2011, 09:14 PM
Humans are potty trained and helpless compared with chimps, gorillas, and 'tangs, so I'd go with them.

Lemur866
07-31-2011, 09:23 PM
Humans are potty trained and helpless compared with chimps, gorillas, and 'tangs, so I'd go with them.

Humans are specifically prohibited by the OP. Try again.

Pyper
07-31-2011, 09:24 PM
Slow loris (http://youtube.com/watch?v=g9f-6jygRJk) all the way.

Freudian Slit
07-31-2011, 09:24 PM
Humans are specifically prohibited by the OP. Try again.

Curses, foiled again!

Paranoid Randroid
07-31-2011, 09:43 PM
Hm. My intuition — from a lifetime of news absorption, including unfortunate incidents in which persons are mauled by animals that should not be pets — is that with proper care a gorilla would be rather less likely to turn on you than, say, a chimp. Is this incorrect? Kind of difficult to Google this sort of thing, what with all the websites saying more or less “Do Not Have Primates As Pets You Moron”.

Having a pet motherfucking gorilla would be a good way for me to win back some of the masculinity I’ve allowed to seep away. But I suppose when a gorilla does turn on you, all bets are off … I like my chances against the pygmy.

cherry
07-31-2011, 10:05 PM
My choice would be a Sasquatch. They could provide protection and maybe talk with you with their various howls.

blondebear
07-31-2011, 10:12 PM
I'd like an aye-aye please. I would name it Captain.

cochrane
07-31-2011, 10:29 PM
Forgot that I don't have a choice. I'm liking the pygmy marmoset. More like owning a squrrel than a monkey. Only problem is they mostly eat tree sap. How the heck are you supposed to keep the bastards fed?
The OP says you'll be provided with a lifetime supply of appropriate food.

cwthree
07-31-2011, 10:40 PM
I'd like an aye-aye please. I would name it Captain.

:) I had forgotten that the aye-aye is a primate. Cute, in its own way. But its Wikipedia entry says that people in its native Madagascar claim that it can sneak into houses, set upon a sleeping occupant, and kill him/her with a jab of its elongated middle finger. What if they (the human occupants of Madagascar) are onto something?

cwthree
07-31-2011, 10:41 PM
My choice would be a Sasquatch. They could provide protection and maybe talk with you with their various howls.

Tempting, and the OP did not specifically exclude cryptids.

miss elizabeth
07-31-2011, 11:08 PM
Oh shit. The slow loris for sure. I know nothing else beyond that video, but I'm sold!

running coach
07-31-2011, 11:55 PM
Oh shit. The slow loris for sure. I know nothing else beyond that video, but I'm sold!

Think again. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_loris)
Slow lorises have a toxic bite, a rare trait among mammals. The toxin is produced by licking a gland on their arm, and the secretion mixes with its saliva to activate it. Their toxic bite is a deterrent to predators, and the toxin is also applied to the fur during grooming as a form of protection for their infants.

PapSett
08-01-2011, 12:47 AM
Yup, slow loris for me too, toxic bite or not. Keep tickling and your loris won't bite! Simple, eh? That is one of my favorite videos ever.

toofs
08-01-2011, 01:45 AM
Lemur866 would make a fine primate pet. Not sure about potty training though.

Filbert
08-01-2011, 06:52 AM
Having worked with both, I'd say one of the other marmosets- bigger than the pygmies, but still pretty small. Pygmy marmosets are generally really shy and would spend most of their time hiding behind things - even when they're totally used to you, their natural behaviour is to be as inconspicuous as possible.

We had a baby common marmoset in the house for a while, had to hand-rear it as its parents abandoned it, and she would have been a pretty good pet (eventually went to someone else who had a boyfriend for her).
They are actually legal pets in the UK, though they are very sociable, so one by itself might be a bit miserable. Don't smell too bad either.

cwthree
08-01-2011, 11:03 AM
Having worked with both, I'd say one of the other marmosets- bigger than the pygmies, but still pretty small. Pygmy marmosets are generally really shy and would spend most of their time hiding behind things - even when they're totally used to you, their natural behaviour is to be as inconspicuous as possible.

We had a baby common marmoset in the house for a while, had to hand-rear it as its parents abandoned it, and she would have been a pretty good pet (eventually went to someone else who had a boyfriend for her).
They are actually legal pets in the UK, though they are very sociable, so one by itself might be a bit miserable. Don't smell too bad either.

So maybe if I can talk clipboard guy into giving me a pair of common marmosets, that's my best option. Do I ask for two of the same sex, or one male and one female? How likely is it that a mixed-sex pair will breed in the atypical environment of my urban home? I'm too lazy to do the paperwork that the USDA requires for me to go into business as a dealer of excess monkeys.

Duke
08-01-2011, 11:16 AM
My former grandfather-in-law Frank owned two pet South American spider monkeys named Penny and Pedro when he lived in Trinidad. Frank, a regular Dr. Doolittle, had been given the monkeys by a South American businessman who couldn't keep them any longer. Penny and Pedro mostly lived outside, but did stay in for most of the rainy season. My ex mother-in-law remembered the pair as rambunctious but usually well-behaved, although Frank had to get rid of the curtains because they were using them as a trapeze. They never bothered humans, except for one frequent visitor to the house who didn't like the pair. Pedro would sneak up behind him, climb up his pants legs, and bite him on the rear end.

Unfortunately there was a sad end for Penny and Pedro. Penny ate a poisonous insect one day and died. Pedro was inconsolable; shortly afterward, Frank and the family were reassigned back to Wales, and Frank had to donate Pedro to a local zoo. Shortly after that he heard that Pedro too had died.

The spider monkey stories Frank told were amusing but I know that I'm not a Dr. Doolittle, and I don't live in Trinidad, so maybe not spider monkeys.

Paranoid Randroid
08-01-2011, 12:57 PM
Okay. Iím going to run outside and try to get the delivery guyís attention ó Iíve decided that a gorilla is too much for me to handle. Sorry, Chancellor Kong, Iím sure youíll find a loving home with somebody who lets you sit wherever you like.

Iím exchanging him for a Squirrel Monkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squirrel_monkey). Intelligent, adorable (http://youtube.com/watch?v=1wnEkpHD64U), affectionate, and thereís at least some precedence (http://petmonkeyinfo.com/mymonkeys.html) for them being successfully kept as pets. Their upper size limit is about 2.5 pounds, so not a whole lot of ow-youíre-tearing-my-face-off worries. Iíll be sure to choose a male, though; unlike usual animals kept as pets (rabbits being an interesting exception) females are more aggressive (http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/squirrel_monkey/behav). And males donít have any advantage in the dominance department ó females have a pseudo-penis (http://animalpicturesarchive.com/view.php?tid=3&did=27201) to, you know, assert themselves. Gloria Steinem would be proud.

cochrane
08-01-2011, 01:48 PM
So maybe if I can talk clipboard guy into giving me a pair of common marmosets, that's my best option. Do I ask for two of the same sex, or one male and one female? How likely is it that a mixed-sex pair will breed in the atypical environment of my urban home? I'm too lazy to do the paperwork that the USDA requires for me to go into business as a dealer of excess monkeys.You could always trade the offspring back to the agency administering the Pointless Aggravation Act of 2012. Maybe they'll give you extra chow or build a habitat for them or something. In return, they have new primates to assign to others.

Filbert
08-01-2011, 03:01 PM
So maybe if I can talk clipboard guy into giving me a pair of common marmosets, that's my best option. Do I ask for two of the same sex, or one male and one female? How likely is it that a mixed-sex pair will breed in the atypical environment of my urban home? I'm too lazy to do the paperwork that the USDA requires for me to go into business as a dealer of excess monkeys.

Pretty likely to breed, the parents of the one we had to handrear (she was their first, and they were still teenage delinquents) have gone on to have a further 23 babies, all of which they've reared themselves. :D

But when the babies looks like this (http://s3.amazonaws.com/greenwala-attachments/production/attachments/18851/large/marmoset-baby.jpg?1299267342) it's hard to think of it as a problem.

Tranquilis
08-01-2011, 03:57 PM
My older sisters had a spider monkey when they were young (and I was very young!). Not a bad pet, though prone to bite when irritated. So... I guess not, IRT Spider Monkeys.

Maybe a lemur. Yes. A lemur. A Mouse Lemur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_lemur)!

emmaliminal
08-01-2011, 04:13 PM
You could always trade the offspring back to the agency administering the Pointless Aggravation Act of 2012. Maybe they'll give you extra chow or build a habitat for them or something . . .I think you may be misunderstanding the underlying principles of the PAA.

How about a zog-zog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosmalens%27_Dwarf_Marmoset)? They're cute (http://google.com/search?q=Roosmalens+Dwarf+Marmoset&num=50&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Wnz&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=kQg3TtPxJq-p0AGykvygDA&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=1136&bih=600), and small, and they sound nice. Not territorial, and they only have one baby at a time, so less dealing with those aggravating assholes at PAA Admin.

araminty
08-01-2011, 04:49 PM
Iím exchanging him for a Squirrel Monkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squirrel_monkey). Intelligent, adorable (http://youtube.com/watch?v=1wnEkpHD64U), affectionate, and thereís at least some precedence (http://petmonkeyinfo.com/mymonkeys.html) for them being successfully kept as pets.

Uh huh, sure...

I work at a small zoo. We have four common squirrel monkeys which were surrendered to Animal Control by a private owner that was keeping them (illegally) as pets. Our zookeepers now work with them through protective contact - the keepers interact with them only through wire mesh, never entering the same enclosure, and shifting them from their daytime exhibit to their nighthouse (and vice versa) when access to the enclosure is required. This is the same precautions we take with our carnivores. They are just not friendly little creatures.

Plenty of insane people keep monkeys at pets.

cwthree
08-01-2011, 04:56 PM
Maybe a lemur. Yes. A lemur. A Mouse Lemur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_lemur)!
Hey, that's cute, and small, and probably nowhere near as intelligent as a spider monkey or a squirrel monkey. It would probably be pretty happy living in a cage, and there's no way it could rip my face off (right?). I see it's omnivorous with a taste for bugs, but I could get a dedicated fridge for mealworms.

cwthree
08-01-2011, 05:00 PM
Uh huh, sure...

I work at a small zoo. We have four common squirrel monkeys which were surrendered to Animal Control by a private owner that was keeping them (illegally) as pets. Our zookeepers now work with them through protective contact - the keepers interact with them only through wire mesh, never entering the same enclosure, and shifting them from their daytime exhibit to their nighthouse (and vice versa) when access to the enclosure is required. This is the same precautions we take with our carnivores. They are just not friendly little creatures.

Plenty of insane people keep monkeys at pets.

Eek. Is this batch of squirrel monkeys unusually nasty (perhaps because the original owner didn't know what the hell he or she was doing), or is this actually pretty standard for the species?

araminty
08-01-2011, 06:13 PM
Eek. Is this batch of squirrel monkeys unusually nasty (perhaps because the original owner didn't know what the hell he or she was doing), or is this actually pretty standard for the species?

Pretty normal. Our keepers work with the lemurs and capuchins the same way.

Our male black capped capuchin just turned 37 last week. We believe he's the oldest capuchin monkey in the US. He's very healthy and doing well, but a bit bald :)

Paranoid Randroid
08-02-2011, 07:26 AM
Uh huh, sureÖ [Ö]

Plenty of insane people keep monkeys at pets.

Well, way I figure it, I can be beaten to a pulp by a gorilla, torn apart by a chimp, or raped by an orangutan (!!!!) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangutan#Sexual_interest_in_human_females) ó at least if he mistook me for a female. I'm making the most of a bad situation, ya dig, I just want something small enough that I could hold my own when push comes to shove. (A pygmy wouldnít be a fair fight).

Furious_Marmot
08-02-2011, 12:05 PM
Party Gorilla, assuming he's not mythical.

theoatmeal.com/comics/party_gorilla

Otherwise, an Aye-Aye, because just look at them. You can also use them to scare away people from Madagascar, if that ever becomes a problem.

bibliophage
08-02-2011, 01:40 PM
I have long been fascinated by the lesser apes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbon) (Hylobatidae, the gibbons and their kin). I'm sure that "singing" brachiators are a bad choice for a house pet, but I might be tempted.

Argent Towers
08-02-2011, 02:38 PM
Proboscis monkey. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Portrait_of_a_Proboscis_Monkey.jpg)

Bosstone
08-02-2011, 02:55 PM
Proboscis monkey. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Portrait_of_a_Proboscis_Monkey.jpg)Dunno. I've heard they're pretty nosy.

Jophiel
08-02-2011, 05:26 PM
I'd get a howler monkey. I don't care how safe they are or whatever, I just want to piss off the neighbors.

The Great Sun Jester
08-02-2011, 06:25 PM
nm

Yeticus Rex
08-02-2011, 08:12 PM
My choice would be a Sasquatch. They could provide protection and maybe talk with you with their various howls.

I only howl if you stomp on my big foot. Protection is extra though.....and whatever you do, don't mess with me! (http://youtube.com/watch?v=GJF0cuYbYyI)

kimera
08-02-2011, 11:59 PM
White-faced capuchins do urine wash and cannot be potty trained. Urine washing is related to the temperature and dominance (more dominant, more urine), so you might be able to keep that down. However, capuchins are vicious little guys that have nasty teeth and constantly squabble with each other. They aren't very respectful of dominance hierarchies, so you'd likely constantly face challenges. Incredibly intelligent and voraciously hungry, they can figure out how to open zippers and steal food from all sorts of containers.

Howlers aren't very intelligent, spend most of the day sleeping, and make a loud racket.

cochrane
08-03-2011, 02:58 AM
I have long been fascinated by the lesser apes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbon) (Hylobatidae, the gibbons and their kin). I'm sure that "singing" brachiators are a bad choice for a house pet, but I might be tempted.Singing Brachiators would make an excellent band name.

Becky2844
08-03-2011, 04:00 AM
We had a spider monkey. She would ride on the back of our dog (a skinny mutt that we loved like a river.) She would also sit on our heads (tho she shit down my brother's neck one time.) Her little hands, with their long, bulbous fingers, were lke a baby's.

mac_bolan00
08-03-2011, 04:23 AM
i'm the audience-type of a pet owner. the gibbon, easily the most acrobatic ape, even without training.

Tranquilis
08-03-2011, 11:53 AM
Hey, that's cute, and small, and probably nowhere near as intelligent as a spider monkey or a squirrel monkey. It would probably be pretty happy living in a cage, and there's no way it could rip my face off (right?). I see it's omnivorous with a taste for bugs, but I could get a dedicated fridge for mealworms.
Pretty much my reasoning, too.

cwthree
08-03-2011, 12:17 PM
White-faced capuchins do urine wash and cannot be potty trained. Urine washing is related to the temperature and dominance (more dominant, more urine), so you might be able to keep that down. However, capuchins are vicious little guys that have nasty teeth and constantly squabble with each other. They aren't very respectful of dominance hierarchies, so you'd likely constantly face challenges. Incredibly intelligent and voraciously hungry, they can figure out how to open zippers and steal food from all sorts of containers.

Howlers aren't very intelligent, spend most of the day sleeping, and make a loud racket.

So basically I'd have to constantly bully a capuchin in order for it to be a tolerable housemate, i.e. to minimize urine washing and dominance challenges, and it would still steal my snacks and toys.

My dog is pretty laid back, so a spider monkey like Becky2844 had, as long as I remember to wear a neck gaiter or some such whenever it's on my head.

I see pictures of people playing, apparently happily, with un-diapered monkeys. What's the deal with that? Have they just learned to disregard the inevitable shit, or is there some secret to having shit-free time with one's monkey?

That mouse lemur is looking better all the time.

Jophiel
08-03-2011, 12:25 PM
White-faced capuchins do urine wash and cannot be potty trained. Urine washing is related to the temperature and dominance (more dominant, more urine), so you might be able to keep that down.
Give me a case of beer and I could totally out-urine a monkey if it came to that.

fluiddruid
08-03-2011, 12:47 PM
Oh shit. The slow loris for sure. I know nothing else beyond that video, but I'm sold!They are cute, but NPR did a piece about how those videos actually depict animal abuse. (http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/01/tech-report-do-popular-viral/)

elbows
08-03-2011, 01:34 PM
I'm going with an aye-aye, they are all kinds of awesome.

(I've had one crawl up my arm and sit on my shoulder!)

Best Topics: flamboyant homosexual stop radiator leak soft starlight mints define bender porivo peer bleach vs clorox strongest laxatives skin safe pens error 0x800700e1 the ring explained chase atv loan large erection couscous pasta mechanic hourly rate van nuys pronunciation 2nd generation puggle cats rentals define cuntwaffle j element is telemarketing hard definition colitas ethanol drinking ramstein amerika upskirt commando winged dagger confetti singular waterboarding techniques emerson switchboard job travel percentage wsop theme song cobra retroactive replacing shed roof how to keep lobsters alive broken wrist pain years later 1 1/2 story house definition steve stone cubs announcer honey smacks vs golden crisp south korean drinking age hannibal (harris novel) why do people like hot weather what happens if you leave the hospital without signing discharge papers how many amps does central air use king of the hill hippies how to get something postmarked what does lowercase m stand for in chemistry where to buy cyanide what sound does a goat say how much hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting alumni vs alumnus vs alumna can someone find out where i live by my license plate patron saint of america ba vs bs physics how much fuel oil does a furnace use best dance songs of the 60s does theraflu have to be hot sand burrs in foot did adam and jamie get along knick knack paddy whack joke does hair club work my parents never call me how strong are cats is sugar free kool aid bad for you is aluminum a metalloid wrong height on drivers license how to stretch 100 polyester how much does a chicken thigh weigh