Does The Monkey Smile?


When sharing wildlife photos here, whether from guests or some of our own, the idea is to provide constant reminders, to ourselves and to everyone else, of the value of conservation. Even with a title of a post meant to draw a smile, it is not to be cute so much as to address the wonder of the moment captured in the camera. I really do wonder whether the margay purrs. And Chrissy Mason’s photo of the margay helped me wonder that more effectively.

The photo above, and the one below–both also shared by Chrissy–got me thinking about whether primates really smile, or whether it just looks that way to us (you must have seen that photo, reportedly a selfie taken by a macaque, that sure looks like a knowing grin).


This photo, I must confess, has given me pause. It looks like a smile, but it is also vaguely creepy. I have been hesitating over whether to share it precisely because it may do some sort of disservice to someone who finds it creepy; same reason we do not post photos of snakes, scorpions and other unloved creatures.

But, something says to share it. Is it a smile? Is there anything really creepy about it? If so, what? I wonder.

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