Every animal has it's own story and lore—that includes monkeys. Monkeys are also known as simians and these animals are divided into two distinct groups—New World and Old World monkeys. New World monkeys are found in tropical regions of South America, Central America and Mexico. The five families of New World monkeys include the Callitrichidae, Cebidae, Aotidae, Pitheciidae and Atelidae. Old World monkeys are found throughout Africa and Asia, populating rain forests, savannas, shrublands and mountains. There are twenty four genera and 138 recognized species of Old World monkeys, making them the largest primate family.
Many monkeys have appeared throughout popular culture—both in live action and animated roles. Some notable examples of monkeys who played important roles in live action productions include Ross's capuchin monkey Marcel in the television series "Friends," Betsy, the capuchin monkey who spread a virus to the U.S. in "Outbreak" and the chain smoking capuchin monkey in "The Hangover Part II." Some of our favorite animated monkeys include George of "Curious George," Rafiki of "The Lion King," and King Louie of "The Jungle Book."
Monkeys have not only played an important role in entertainment, but tattoo history as well. Sailor Jerry, the father of American traditional tattooing, had a pet monkey named Romeo during his lifetime. This monkey inspired one of his most famous flash tattoo designs, "The Aloha Monkey," which features a monkey bending over to show it's butt. Jerry got the idea for this tattoo design after his monkey was loose in the shop and consumed a bottle of black ink, spraying black ink diarrhea over a US Navy sailor's pristine white suit. The more you know!
Monkeys have made their way into other tattoo styles as way, inspiring countless tattoo artists from around the world. Take a look at 75 of our favorite monkey tattoos in the gallery below, then let us know your favorite tattoo from this list in the comments section on social media.