I made it way too far into being the writer for Marlin & Percy before I knew – at least with any certainty – the difference between a monkey and an ape. More accurately, I wasn’t fully aware that they were different animals.
Talk about awkward.
I’d like to blame the education system, for requiring me to spend my time at school instead of at the zoo, where I no doubt would have learned these key distinguishing factors.
But that’s not a very good excuse, so let’s spend this month’s animal highlight on apes/monkeys, so none of you fine folks have to make bad excuses like I did.
The key difference?
APES DON’T HAVE TAILS.
There are some other details of course. Apes are generally bigger than most monkeys. They’re also more likely to walk on two legs, which fits into our superhero vision nicely, and they have bigger brains (again, that makes sense…so maybe my subconscious knew all this all along). But the big clincher is that apes…don’t…have…tails.
When I first started drawing Marlin and Percy (badly, I might add) they had tails, or at least Percy did, so when I realized the difference between the two animals, I had a moment of minor (okay, major) panic. I had to go through every bit of art Tyler had done to make sure we hadn’t made any mistakes. Turns out that I had made plenty, but Tyler (our resident expert) had not.
There were no tails.
We were safe.
Naturally, I had to laugh at myself, because laughter is the best medicine for being ridiculous. Partially because I wasn’t going to take myself too seriously, and partially to hammer the point home so I wouldn’t forget, this became a bit of a running gag in the M&P novel, which sees plenty of cases of mistaken identity. You’ll see what I’m talking about soon enough though.
Next month we’ll have to go into some more details. Until then, I’ll be reading up on these things.
Stay in school, kids.