Macaque takes self-portrait

This is a self-portrait taken by a crested black macaque who reportedly snatched a wildlife photographer's camera on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. From The Telegraph:
Monkeyselfffffff David (Slater), 46, said: "One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off because the sound caused a bit of a frenzy. "At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection. "They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button.

"The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it. At first it scared the rest of them away but they soon came back - it was amazing to watch.

"He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus. He obviously hadn't worked that out yet.

"Monkey steals camera to snap himself"


  1. The photographer reports that “Not very many were in focus”, but the macaque absolutely nailed point-of-focus and depth-of-field in that picture. He’s obviously going to go far.

    He’s also mastered the tricky “self-portrait with camera held at arms-length” which – to judge by what I’ve seen on Myspace and other social sites – many humans still can’t get right.

  2. By the way, who gets the credit /attribution /royalties? The macaque? The camera’s owner? The World Wildlife Fund?

  3. I like how the monkey is making the same face everyone makes when they take a picture of themselves. All that’s missing is a bunch of other monkeys in the background with plastic cups of beer half-caught by the flash.

  4. Put some beautiful scenery in the background and you have an eerie similarity to every vacation photo my relatives have ever produced.

  5. Baboons hairless *ss are called ischial callousities(sp?), which I was taught was trait that makes it easy for them to sit… I’ve always loved that word.
    But what struck me about the photo… aren’t most lower primates displaying threat gestures when they expose teeth that way?

    1. That expression (closed mouth with exposed teeth) is more of a fear grimace. A wide open mouth would be a threat.

    2. “… aren’t most lower primates displaying threat gestures when they expose teeth that way?”

      It didn’t look that threatening to me. Besides, when humans first started doing portraits with photography, it seems if the faces didn’t look hostile, they were at least less than warm and friendly.

      I’m sure their photography culture will come up with fake natural smiles and goofy protest faces in due course.

      1. “Besides, when humans first started doing portraits with photography, it seems if the faces didn’t look hostile, they were at least less than warm and friendly.”

        That’s only because it took several minutes to take a picture and it’s hard to hold a smile for that long.

    1. Just what the world needs, another badly acted anti-medical-science luddite Frankensteinian scare flick piece of trash wearing the good name of Pierre Boulle’s classic masterpiece. Pass.

  6. Future BB post: “DREAMWORKS set to produce motion-capture animated trilogy MONKEY WITH A CAMERA”

          1. I would say that a healthy dose of skepticism is always good.

            Call people lame is pretty lame.

          2. And I would say that you’ve turned a post about something interesting into a thread about yourself. Please stop.

  7. It took me a while to realize those are its shoulders in the background. At first I was thinking it was a hairy version of Jar-jar Binks.

  8. This is not the pic that the monkey took. It was a file photo the news article used. Its obviously a manipulated photo people LOL!
    The photo that the original article showed was pretty good. It has the photographer and two monkeys in it.

  9. @bobrk

    True, but I don’t see fangs like in these shots:

    Because male crested black macaques have enlarged canine teeth compared to females.

    Took me a few seconds to google that fact.

  10. I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn’t allow it. He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did. It’s your father’s hair dryer. This is the fashion accessory of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a towel, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.

  11. Oh I see some one posted that already.

    This picture definitely falls into that sort of uncanny valley where we can really see ourselves in other primates!

  12. “monkey steals camera to snap pictures”

    wasn’t that one of the excuses Anthony Weiner used?

Comments are closed.