The African monkey, also referred to as the Old World Monkey belongs to one of two subfamilies called “Cercopithecidae“ and Colobinae. The former exists in 23 genera and 160 species, and the latter in 61 species and 11 genera.
Breeds of monkeys that fall under the Cercopithecidae include baboons, colobuses, macaques, and vervet monkeys. Those under the colobinae include colobus. How much do you know about them? Check out these facts.
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African monkeys tend to be medium to large size. For example, the talapoin, in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, weighs two kilograms or 4.4 pounds. The mandrill is the largest African monkey. It weighs about 49 kilograms. They are found in West Central Africa and mostly inhabit the rainforest. Male African monkeys are typically bigger than females.
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African monkeys under the Cercopithecidae are largely omnivores. They eat leaves, fruits, seeds, insects, small animals and more. These monkeys have cheek pouches where they can store food. They aren’t inclined to share food. As such, they compete against one another for desirable foods, so they use the pouch to hide.
On the other hand, the Colobinae are herbivorous, which means they feed on leaves. They have cusped molars, multi-chambered, and a higher acid level in the stomachs that allow them to digest plants.
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The gestation period of an African monkey takes a period of 5 to 7 months. Each birth produces one offspring, although there are rare cases of twin births. The newborns can hold their mother’s fur from birth.
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The tails of the African monkey are prehensile, meaning they can’t hold objects. Instead, they use it to support themselves when moving, particularly through the dense forests. It also helps to redistribute its weight throughout the body. Within the tail, the monkeys have tissues called ischial callosities, which help them patch comfortably on rough surfaces.
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The old-world monkey has 32 teeth. Its dental formula is four canines, eight incisors, 12 molars, and eight premolars. This matches their omnivore eating pattern.
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African monkeys spend a lot of time with other members of their species. The females stay with their mothers throughout life, while the males move away when they mature to a new group. Each group is headed by a male to wade off mating rivals. That said, some males accept others within the group and establish a hierarchy.
Type of Vision
Like human beings, African monkey has trichromatic vision, which means they perceive three colors: red, blue, and green. It’s believed that the monkeys in the continent evolved to have this type of sight to help them choose the right food.
Good vision, paid with a sense of touch, is essential to spot the right type of food. Additionally, within the African monkey family, red signals a readiness to mate.
The African monkey is one of the most common species on the continent. It’s one of the most interesting species because of how well it relates to humans and its similarities to us. We hope the facts provided above help you to learn more about it.
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