Do monkeys generally die in trees?

Ok, don’t ask me how this came up, but at work today, a few coworkers and myself were speculating on whether monkeys tend to be in trees or on the ground when they die. Now, we realize that a deceased monkey is likely to fall out of the tree and onto the ground once death has occured, but at the time of death, is your average monkey likely to be hanging around in a tree, or sitting around doing something on the ground?

Depends a bit on the species. Some monkeys are a lot more arboreal than others. Some almost never come to the ground voluntarily; others, like baboons, spend most of their time on the ground.

However, in my experience a sick or dying monkey will often fall out of the tree before death and will actually die on the ground rather than in the tree itself. It may be taken by a predator after falling; or the fall itself may kill it; or it may die of starvation or illness after falling.

There’s a picture in a National Geographic magazine (I can’t recall the issue) of a organtang collapsing to death on a tree branch.

A coworker used to tell this riddle really well; it was in his delivery, I think:

“Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?”

“Because it was DEAD!

Where’s that thread on where all the dead birds went? I searched but couldn’t find it.

Nope, sorry – that question is at least as interesting as the question itself.

How did it come up?

I just saw a thing on chimps the other day, and they don’t do nearly as well in trees as monkeys do. They fall out a lot. Complete with footage of them hitting every branch on the way down. The program said they do sometimes die from it, but more often suffer broken bones.