The Cryptid Zoo: Giant Monkey

The 1933 version of 'King Kong' displays people's fascination with the idea of giant monkeys and apes. This screenshot is copyrighted by those who own the copyright to the film.
Giant monkeys and apes are reported from many places in the world. Most sightings sound like normal monkeys or apes, except that they are way too big. Reports of giant baboons come from Africa and India, similar to fossil finds of a baboon that is supposed to be extinct.

South America has at least two reported varieties of giant monkey. One is similar to the howler monkey, except that it is gigantic and would therefore be a new species if it exists.

The other supposed South American giant monkey is often thought to be part of the great ape family, which includes chimps and gorillas and is not supposed to have any South American representative.

This other giant monkey of South America is called the mono grande. It is reported to be about five feet tall, with a gracile build similar to a creature between an orangutan and a gibbon. Photographic evidence exists that exhibits features that would be difficult to fake, but conclusive proof is still missing.

However, recent evidence indicates that the original photographic evidence for the mono grande is mixed up in a racist plot, and might have been faked for the purpose of claiming that each of the major races of humans descended from a different ape ancestor.

This alleged hoax centers on a giant monkey that is often called De Loy's Ape or Ameranthropoides loysi. It is possible to believe in the mono grande even if you think De Loy's Ape is a fake, since folklore and sightings of the mono grande existed both before and after the alleged hoax, continuing up to recent times. Today, believers tend to think that the mono grande is a giant spider monkey, not an ape.

In North America, there are many giant monkey sightings that describe a far more bizarre creature, sometimes called a "devil monkey." Looking a bit like werewolves, these creatures are generally described as having pointed ears, a baboon-like snout (baboon snouts look like dog muzzles), and long tails. These tails are frequently described as bushy, like a wolf's tail or fox's tail, and occasionally they are described as hairless, like a rat's tail. Devil monkeys often prefer to go on all fours, and when they do rise on their hind legs, they generally travel by long jumps in the manner of a kangaroo, instead of the usual hairy humanoid's bipedal stride.
The most well-known mono grande or giant monkey is De Loy's Ape. This is copyrighted by those who own the copyright to the book cover art for 'Extraordinary Animals Revisited' by Karl Shuker.
The hind feet may only have three toes, or only show that many in footprints, and the hind legs are heavily digitigrade, with a long, narrow foot.

Devil monkeys are supposed to be aggressive towards dogs, and sometimes humans, and they often are described as carnivorous and blamed for killing livestock. Adults can be up to six feet tall, and youngsters are often mistaken for kangaroos at first glance. In fact, these reports are often confused with or meshed with both anamalous kangaroo sightings and skunk-ape sightings. Some of the weirder reports include animals that are described as looking exactly like dogs from the waist up, kangaroos from the waist down.

If you think devil monkeys sound rather bizarre, you are not the first to conclude this. These creatures really have cryptozoologists scratching their heads. North America is not supposed to have any native apes, and even if it did, you would expect something more like napes, the chimp-like North American cryptids.

For all these reasons, speculations about what these creatures might be has gone off in all directions. Some think it might be an extinct form of giant baboon, others think it is clearly so bizarre that it is supernatural and therefore of no interest to cryptozoologists, and yet others favor the idea of a kangaroo, like the bondegezou turned out to be, even though North America is not supposed to have any native kangaroos either.

Creatures like the North American "devil monkey" are sometimes reported from other areas of the world, where they have local names.

One example is the drekavac of Serbian folklore, a label that is actually applied to several radically different monsters. One kind of drekavac resembles a dog on its upper body, while having the lower parts of a kangaroo. It is supposed to have a wailing cry that is unsettling to hear.

You can find out more about the Giant Monkey from the following sources:

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Pages 88-90

Clark, Jerome. Unexplained!. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999. Pages 310-316
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Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 160-162, 184-187, 204

Keel, John A. The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings. New York: Doubleday, 1994. Page 122

Mono Grande: Big Monkey

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Page 4, 26, 131-132, 138, 198, 211, 222-224, 232, 236, 285, 290-291, 307-308, 313-314, 318-319, 322-323, 336, 338, 360, 362, 486, 499

Weidensaul, Scott. The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Page 175

Wikipedia, The. Ameranthropoides loysi

Wikipedia, The. Mono Grande

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