Colobus Monkey

Monkey, Black-and-White Colobus

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

The black-and-white colobus monkey has an almost entirely black body with a long white “cape” of fur extending down its back and from its tail. There is also a ring of white fur surrounding the nearly hairless face. Besides the striking white fur flowing from them, colobus monkeys are best known for their greatly reduced, or nearly absent, thumb. The lack of an opposable thumb and cheek pouches are some of the traits that distinguish colobus monkeys from the other Old World monkeys in Africa and Asia.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Primates
Family
Cercopithecidae
Genus
Colobus
Species
C. guereza
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
23-24 in (~58-62 cm)
Weight
17-30 lb (~8-14 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Colobus guereza as a species of Least Concern. Though not currently endangered, these monkeys face threats from poaching and demand from the skin trade.

Social Life
Primarily a diurnal species, these monkeys are seldom found out of the trees. This highly arboreal lifestyle is largely spent either eating or sleeping with a minimal amount of strenuous activity. They live in male dominated groups of up to 15 individuals, consisting primarily of females and their offspring. Moving in and around the trees is done in a quadrupedal style, typically bounding or galloping through the branches. Though their locomotor habits are certainly acrobatic, one is most likely to see a colobus monkey lounging amid the branches either reclined or completely sprawled out to rest.

Habitat and Range
The black and white colobus monkey is predominately found throughout eastern equatorial (tropical) Africa in primary and secondary forests, riverine forests, and wooded grasslands. The forests that they occupy may be either deciduous or evergreen and can extend into montane regions of up to 11,000 ft (3300 m) altitudes.

Diet
Though omnivores, colobus monkeys primarily subsist on the abundance of leafy vegetation in their forest habitat. With their diet consisting more of leaves than other resources, these monkeys can thrive with less resource competition than related species. Such a folivorous diet, however, requires a digestive tract unique to the colobinae subfamily of the primate order. In order to process the cellulose and the toxins in the leaves that they eat, C. guereza have a multi-chambered stomach. The first of these chambers, the foregut, ferments the consumed vegetation through the use of anaerobic bacteria which serves to make the vegetation more readily digestible.

Lifespan
Colobus monkeys typically live up to 20 years in the wild and have been known to live 25-30 years in captivity.

Predators
Typical predators of black-and-white colobus monkeys are crowned hawk eagles, leopards, and occasionally chimpanzees.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 6 years, Female: 4 years
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:    Typically births are timed for the offspring to wean during times of greatest resource abundance.
Gestation:          6 months
No. of Young:     1

Information

Description

The black-and-white colobus monkey has an almost entirely black body with a long white “cape” of fur extending down its back and from its tail. There is also a ring of white fur surrounding the nearly hairless face. Besides the striking white fur flowing from them, colobus monkeys are best known for their greatly reduced, or nearly absent, thumb. The lack of an opposable thumb and cheek pouches are some of the traits that distinguish colobus monkeys from the other Old World monkeys in Africa and Asia.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Primates
Family
Cercopithecidae
Genus
Colobus
Species
C. guereza
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
23-24 in (~58-62 cm)
Weight
17-30 lb (~8-14 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Colobus guereza as a species of Least Concern. Though not currently endangered, these monkeys face threats from poaching and demand from the skin trade.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Primarily a diurnal species, these monkeys are seldom found out of the trees. This highly arboreal lifestyle is largely spent either eating or sleeping with a minimal amount of strenuous activity. They live in male dominated groups of up to 15 individuals, consisting primarily of females and their offspring. Moving in and around the trees is done in a quadrupedal style, typically bounding or galloping through the branches. Though their locomotor habits are certainly acrobatic, one is most likely to see a colobus monkey lounging amid the branches either reclined or completely sprawled out to rest.

Habitat and Range
The black and white colobus monkey is predominately found throughout eastern equatorial (tropical) Africa in primary and secondary forests, riverine forests, and wooded grasslands. The forests that they occupy may be either deciduous or evergreen and can extend into montane regions of up to 11,000 ft (3300 m) altitudes.

Diet
Though omnivores, colobus monkeys primarily subsist on the abundance of leafy vegetation in their forest habitat. With their diet consisting more of leaves than other resources, these monkeys can thrive with less resource competition than related species. Such a folivorous diet, however, requires a digestive tract unique to the colobinae subfamily of the primate order. In order to process the cellulose and the toxins in the leaves that they eat, C. guereza have a multi-chambered stomach. The first of these chambers, the foregut, ferments the consumed vegetation through the use of anaerobic bacteria which serves to make the vegetation more readily digestible.

Lifespan
Colobus monkeys typically live up to 20 years in the wild and have been known to live 25-30 years in captivity.

Predators
Typical predators of black-and-white colobus monkeys are crowned hawk eagles, leopards, and occasionally chimpanzees.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 6 years, Female: 4 years
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:    Typically births are timed for the offspring to wean during times of greatest resource abundance.
Gestation:          6 months
No. of Young:     1

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Monkey, Black-and-White Colobus