The monkey population is breeding the perfect monkeys. In fact, Live Science has picked the Macaque monkey as the best multipurpose monkey. And as our stories often highlight, the Macaque monkeys cause the most problems.

From Live Science:

A macaque is a really good, general purpose, sort of monkey.

Macaques are also the monkeys that people know the best. When 5-year-olds draw a picture of a monkey , with its smooth body, long tail, tiny ears, and impish face, they are drawing a macaque.

We know these animals well because macaques are also the quintessential research animal. The polio vaccine was first developed in macaques, various contraceptives and pharmaceuticals have been tested on macaques, and they were sent into space before apes or people.

Okay, okay. We get it. The Macaque is better than us. Got better grades and has more sex. He’s the George Clooney of monkeys.

But lost in all this service to humankind is the fact that these are really great monkeys, and they have an important place in nature; they are a lot more than lab animals.

Macaques are the most geographically widespread primate after humans. But unlike humans, their adaptation to a variety of places is natural, not cultural.

Various species of macaques are found in deep forests, on mountainsides and at the beach. They incredibly agile — they scurry across branches high in the canopy and leap tall buildings with a single bound, and they can run really fast when scared by a predator or motorcycle. In other words, macaques know how to stay out of danger.

This is a huge red flag. That means they are everywhere! Jungles, cities, probably huddled up in an igloo somewhere. They are unstoppable!

But the real reason macaques are so successful as a species is because they eat just about anything. Flowers, leaves, fruit, insects and whatever an unsuspecting tourist might bring to a temple in Asia.

Hard candy? Sure, love it. Potato chips? Monkey favorite. The monkey will also take your ham sandwich and cookies while he’s at it.

Apparently the best way to catch a monkey is to open a 7-11. Or a deli.

Their lives are full of intrigue, Machiavellian moves for power and concern for who is doing what with whom, just like people.

They are also socially intelligent. I once watched a low-status female Barbary macaque worm her way up the tightly held female hierarchy simply by grooming the babies of high-ranking females. She did it quietly, opportunistically, and pretty soon she was one of them.

This is the same way some paparazzi work.

But this little happy pro-primate propaganda took a subtly nasty turn.

On an ordinary day on Koshima Island, Japan, a young female macaque named Imo picked up a piece of sandy sweet potato and washed it in the sea. Some time later she grabbed a handful of rice and tossed it on the waves also to get rid of the sand. Pretty soon, her recipe for salt potatoes and rice passed from monkey to monkey, demonstrating how culture might have spread among early humans.

Maybe soon, we’ll see robots washing potatoes for lunch while macaques lounge in beach chairs nearby, thinking really, really hard about that salty potato.

Robots working for monkeys? Mark my words, this is how they will take over this planet.

Advertisements