Lisa G. Putman

Joined November 2007

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Eastern Black & White Colubus

Black-and-white colobus (Colobus guereza) are Old World monkeys of the genus Colobus and are closely related to the red colobus monkeys of genus Piliocolobus. The word “colobus” comes from Greek ekolobóse “he cut short” and is so named because its thumb is a stump.

Colobus Monkey, a member of any of three groups of long-tailed, tree-living primates: the black-and-white colobus, the red colobus, and the olive colobus. Colobus monkeys are found only on the African continent. They eat a diet rich in leaves, which they digest by means of a specialized digestive system resembling that of a cow.

The black-and-white colobus is found across equatorial Africa. There are five species, among which the color varies from all black to a skunklike black-and-white pattern. Black-and-white colobus monkeys weigh up to 9 kg (up to 20 lb). They live in small social groups of about ten animals, composed of one adult male plus females and their offspring.

Red colobus monkeys are found across Africa from Zanzibar to Senegal. Their color is highly variable, ranging from brilliant white and red in the monkeys of eastern Africa to slate gray and orange in western African monkeys. They weigh up to 9 kg (up to 20 lb). Males are generally larger than females. The red colobus lives in large groups of up to 100 individuals, including many males. It is a major prey of the chimpanzee in forests where both live.

The little-known olive colobus is found only in the forests of coastal West Africa. It is the most drably colored of the African colobus monkeys, being a fairly uniform gray-brown. It weighs only 4.5 kg (10 lb) and lives in groups of six to eight individuals. After giving birth, the females sometimes carry their infants in their mouths.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Colobinae
Genus: Colobus

Artwork Comments

  • WayoftheWarrior
  • annemarieL
  • gary A. trounson
  • Steve Bulford
  • SandraRos
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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