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MONKEY BUSINESS Did you know?



Published: Sun, July 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The colobus monkey is indigenous to central Africa, swinging from tree tops in Nigeria; to Ethiopia; and to Tanzania. Other fun facts:

These primates were nearly wiped out in the last century when nearly 2 million were killed for their fur.

Many were killed by natives for their tails, used as shield ornaments.

There are three groups of colobus monkeys -- olive, red and black and white.

Colobus monkeys dwell at treetop level in tropical rain and montane forests.

A diet in the wild consists of leaves, flowers, fruits and some bugs. In the zoo, their diet includes lettuce, endive, fruit, vegetables and monkey chow.

Body length is 18-27 inches, with a tail length of 20-35 inches. They weigh 12-32 pounds.

Kolobus is Greek for "mutilated" or "stunted," referring to this monkey's absent thumb. Thumbs are visible only in the embryonic state.

Life span is 25-30 years.

The face is naked or sparsely haired. Long black fur covers the body. They have a white band across the face and a large white tuft at the end of the tail. Babies are white all over.

Skilled aerialists, these monkeys swing freely with their arms, using the same pathways through the forest again and again.

Predators are humans, leopards and large eagles.

Colobus monkeys practice polygamy, having two or more partners at the same time.

Infants are carried on the abdomen. The young cling to their mothers' sides until they're 8 months old. Fathers play with the infants and help with their care, and are characterized as being very patient.

Source: Cleveland Zoological Society




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