Journey back in time to retrace the astonishing rise of monkeys and uncover the amazing stories of what has made the world’s primates one of the most successful groups of creatures on Earth for almost 60 million years. Hosted by biologist Patrick Aryee, AMAZING MONKEYS tells the story of primate evolution and takes us on a journey along the bizarre and miraculous branches of the primate family tree. Join Patrick as he travels to wild locations in Asia, Africa and Central and South America to get eye-to-eye with some of the world’s most charismatic and mischievous monkeys. AMAZING MONKEYS premieres on Wednesday, June 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
AMAZING MONKEYS tells the primate narrative through intimate monkey encounters, stunning wildlife photography, field demonstrations and a CGI family tree. Four mighty monkey dynasties are uncovered: prosimians, Old World monkeys, New World monkeys and apes. Each group has split from one another over centuries, and each has its own story of epic migrations, lost lands, mass extinctions, marooned beasts and incredible animal characters.
The series’ first episode, AMAZING MONKEYS: ASIA, takes viewers to the beginning of the primate family story in Southeast Asia. The very first primates evolved here almost 60 million years ago, and today, some of the most extraordinary and captivating monkeys still call this spectacular region home. Patrick travels to Thailand and gets face-to-face with the ‘King of the Swingers,’ the gibbon; to the Philippines to meet the tarsier, the world’s only 100% carnivorous primate; and to Borneo and China to see the peculiar proboscis monkey and the beautiful golden snub-nosed monkey. Along the way, Patrick witnesses all of their amazing traits and oddities, each just as unique as the last.
Subsequent episodes of AMAZING MONKEYS are:
AMAZING MONKEYS: AFRICA
Premieres Wednesday, June 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
While the first primates arose in Asia, it wasn’t until their migration to Africa that new species became bigger, smarter and stronger than primates anywhere else on Earth. Patrick journeys across the African continent to find more species, from the sifakas of Madagascar and the giant gelada baboon found on the stunning foothills of Ethiopia’s Simian Mountains to the “King of the Apes” – Uganda’s gorillas. It is here in Africa that we find our closest relative, the chimpanzee, with whom we share 98% of our DNA. There is no doubt that the primate family has conquered Africa, though the best of their journey is still yet to come.
AMAZING MONKEYS: THE AMERICAS
Premieres Wednesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
About 35 million years ago, monkeys made an extraordinary exodus, a perilous journey across the Atlantic either on floating vegetation or island hopping, all the way to the Americas. Today, there are more monkey species across Central and South America than the rest of the world put together, and it is here that they evolved amazing primate adaptations. Patrick voyages deep into the rainforest to uncover the clever capuchin of Brazil, the agile and acrobatic spider monkey, and the rowdy howler monkeys of Belize.