George the monkey presumably has no tail because he is either a bonobo or a Barbary macaque. His inventors, H.A. and Margret Reys, are both deceased and have never addressed this pressing topic.
The majority of monkeys have prehensile tails, whereas apes have no tails. This is why discerning readers of the story are naturally baffled by his lack of a tail. When Curious George was created in the 1930s, lesser apes and even chimpanzees were commonly referred to as monkeys. Despite being taxonomically erroneous, this usage was accepted at the time. George most closely resembles the bonobo or miniature chimpanzee for this reason.
He could be a Barbary macaque as well. Macaques are African monkeys; however, this species lacks a tail. George, however, does not resemble a Barbary macaque, hence it is possible that he is a bonobo misidentified as a monkey.
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