Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Bird or Monkey, Who will Win?

The bets have been placed. The bell rings. The crowd roars and jumps to its feet! The anticipation is palpable for the ultimate skeptical-scientific question of the ages is about to be answered…
Bird or Monkey

In a fight who would win? A bird or a monkey?

Drawing by me. Thanks to The Skeptics’ Guide to The Universe for inspiration. Perry may be missed but he will never be forgotten! Have a happy weekend everybody oh and btw… everybody knows that the BIRD is the word! ;) (Apologies to Elyse who will probably never let me have her AI again!)

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. I think it depends on the species of bird vs monkey, really.

    Yeah, canary vs maquaque – my money’s on the monkey.

    But say, crow vs spider monkey – I might go with he crow.

  2. Also depends on the kind of fight. I think any monkey would win in dirty, guerilla, victory-or-extinction fighting. All they’d have to do was avoid exposed tree tops, and eat all eggs they came across.

  3. Yeah, it depends. At least narrow it down to family or something! ;)

    Harpy Eagle vs. monkey? Bird.
    Philippine Eagle vs. lemur? Bird.
    Baboon vs. any passerine? Monkey.
    Humans vs. any bird? Monkey.

  4. Aside from the obvious type of pairing, since there are birds who prey on monkeys, I’d say that birds do, but are there any monkeys (or apes, aside from humans) who prey on birds?

  5. Birds rule, monkeys drool! As a zoo keeper I have sustained more injuries by birds than monkeys, and know many coworkers that are more scared of having to handle birds than anything else! Plus, if a monkey was to threaten a bird they (most) could just fly away. “Later monkey!!”

  6. Clearly monkeys would win, (although there are some match-ups that birds would win, eagle vs spider monkey for example) but birds have hollow bones and monkeys like to throw feces. one hit from that and the birds wings break and it hits the ground, winner and still champion: Monkey!

  7. I’ve seen some rather vicious parrots in my time. Then there’s the fact that corvids, parrots, and other birds can mimic other sounds confusing the monkeys. They can use tools as well. Birds would win by along shot.

    It’s like comparing the air force to the army. There are fighter jet birds, and bomber birds, and navy birds too. They’ve got the monkeys surrounded. The only defense monkeys would have is anti-air craft fire, and even that’s a piece of crap.

    Birds don’t drool, which means they rule.

  8. Fox the fox
    Rat the rat
    You can ape the ape
    I know about that
    There is one thing you must be sure of
    I can’t take any more
    Darling, don’t you monkey with the monkey
    Monkey, monkey, monkey
    Don’t you know you’re going to shock the monkey

  9. In an episode of Science…Sort Of, somewhere between manscaping fruit flies and an uprising in Greenland, they mentioned a bird in the Amazon (?) that when its born, it has fingers, but after a catastrophic molt, it has wings. Any bird that can give you the bird has got to have it going on.

    It would have to play both sides. The adolescent would be able to beak-flip the birds, while the adults can bring the rain (of poo).

    @Peregrine: My infinite monkey would totally kick your peregrine falcon ass!

    @Magnus H.: You have anecdotal evidence. Bring your best bird, and we’ll bring our best monkey. You’re birds need to make sure they have their feathers numbered.


  10. Capuchin monkeys can be pretty vicious little devils:
    They either destroyed or “pre-empted” a nest of a raptor that I study, and definitely destroyed the nest of a Black Currasow near the camp where I work. So eggs and nestlings are definitely taken by these little bastards (of course they are pretty cute too
    But when the birds are adults, the monkeys are are SOL.

  11. @Skulleigh, the spider monkey is a pretty big monkey…Crow would not stand a chance, although the spider is primarily frugivorous, and would probably not see the point in trying to kill a crow, in the unlikely event that they should encounter each other. But say you got a big big jar, and put a crow and a spider monkey inside, and then rolled it down a hill? Well, I would still bet on the 9-11 kilo spider monkey over the 500 g (maybe) crow.

  12. Are we including apes here or just monkeys? If we’re including apes (even if we’re arbitrarily excluding our own specific species), it’s a clear win for the primates!
    If not, it still kind of depends on the nature of the contest. If it’s a comparison of general awesomeness, it’s still a clear win for the monkeys. Monkeys have tails (often prehensile) and can grab things with four of their limbs. All birds have is feathers and beaks both of which are lame. Teeths over beaks, fur over feathers!
    If it’s a to-the-death fight between some terrible raptor and an unarmed capuchin monkey, it clearly goes to the bird but that just shows us that birds are nasty, horrid, violent beasts – monkeys are good people!

  13. Birds may fly, but monkeys have superpowers from all those experiments they let humans perform on them.

    ::snicker:: … I said ‘but monkeys’.

  14. @deadmike: Well, yeah, if you stuffed them in a jar together, the monkey might win. But have you ever watched crows? They *plot*. Cats have got nothing on them. They are secretly scheming a world takeover, and we are the unsuspecting victims…

  15. Hey, what about terror birds? I know they are extinct, but they are awesome! And they can annihilate any monkey in existence.

    If extinct animals don’t count, then I summon the cassowary. They will disembowel any monkey with just one kick. Surely no monkey can defeat this one.

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