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Colobus

genus of mammals

Colobus are a genus of monkeys native to Africa.[1] The word "colobus" comes from Greek κολοβός which means "docked". This refers to their thumbs, which are just stumps.

Colobus
Colubusmonkey.JPG
Mantled guereza (Colobus guereza)
Scientific classification
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Colobus

Illiger, 1811
Species

Colobus satanas
Colobus angolensis
Colobus polykomos
Colobus vellerosus
Colobus guereza

Colobus are herbivorous. They eat leaves, fruit, flowers, and twigs. Their habitats include primary and secondary forests, riverine forests, and wooded grasslands. Their ruminant-like digestive systems help them occupy niches which other primates do not live in.

Colobus live in territorial groups of about nine individuals, with a single male with a number of females and their offspring. Newborn colobus are completely white. Mothering is shared: other members of the troop the biological mother care for an infant.

Colobus are eaten regularly by the common chimpanzee. Jane Goodall discovered that chimps hunt and eat smaller primates such as Colobus monkeys. She watched a hunting group isolate a colobus high in a tree, block all possible exits, then a chimpanzee climbed up and captured and killed the colobus.[2] The others then each took parts of the carcass, sharing with other members of the troop in response to begging behaviours.[2] The chimps at Gombe kill and eat as much as one-third of the colobus population in the park each year.[3] This was a major scientific find which challenged previous conceptions of chimp diet and behavior.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Groves C.P. 2005. Wilson D.E. & Reeder D.M. (eds) Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 167–168. ISBN 0-801-88221-4
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Jane Goodall Institute: "Chimpanzee Central", 2008.
  3. "Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees". PBS. 1996. Retrieved 2010-07-28.