International Wildlife Encyclopedia - Vol. 8

By Maurice Burton; Robert Burton | Go to book overview

GUENON

THE TERM “GUENON” IS used for any monkey belonging to the two genera Cercopithecus and Chlorocebus. There are some 20 species of monkeys in Cercopithecus and a further 4 species in the genus Chlorocebus. Together they form a very mixed company with a wide assortment of coat colors, some of which are thought to help the monkeys to recognize their fellows quickly. All are medium-sized or small monkeys 28–70 inches (0.7–1.8 m) long including the tail, which forms one-half to two-thirds of the total length. They have dexterous, grasping hands and feet, short faces and, in some species, very brightly colored fur.


Monkeys with fine color schemes

Guenons are some of the best known and most colorful monkeys. The green monkey, or callithrix monkey, C. sabaeus, one of the four species in the Chlorocebus genus, is greenish with a black face, white throat and white whiskers. The male has a bright blue or turquoise scrotum. The related vervet monkey, C. pygerythrus, of the same genus, is gray to olive green in color and lives in the open savanna areas of much of sub-Saharan Africa.

The blue or gentle monkey, Cercopithecus mitis, is blue gray with black arms and legs and bushy cheek whiskers. It lives in the forests of East and Central Africa. Some subspecies have a golden-hued back. The red-tailed monkey, C. ascauius, is olive green with a red tail, white nose and white cheeks crossed by a black line. It lives in the forests of East Africa. It is closely related to a West African species known as the putty-nosed monkey, C. nictitans. The Diana monkey, C. diana, is deep blackish purple with a red area on the back, a white thigh stripe, a white crescent on the forehead and a long, white, backcurving beard. It is restricted to West Africa. The De Brazza monkey, C. neglectus, a very robust, thickset species of East and Central Africa, is grayish speckled with a white beard and chestnut forehead stripe. The owl-faced monkey, C. hamlyni, a rare species from the eastern Congo, has a white stripe running down the nose and a cape of hair covering the ears. The mustached monkey, C. cephus, distinguished by its blue and white mustache, is a small species from the swampy forests of western equatorial Africa.


Monkey societies

The easiest species to study is the green monkey because it lives in fairly open country. Green monkeys live in groups of between 6 and 20, with an average of 12 animals. These groups have home ranges that overlap, with trees or clumps of bushes at their centers. Each such clump is the base for at least one group, and some of the larger clumps contain up to four groups of green monkeys. The solitary individuals and all-male groups found in other species are not found in green monkeys, although some individuals may be somewhat on the outskirts of their groups. All ages and both sexes are represented in a group, but there are slightly fewer males than females.

When two groups meet there are no threats or fights, although there may be some chasing. The group sleeps at the top of the tree or bush, which is at the center of the home range, and feeds there in the early morning and in the evening. Toward midday the group begins to

One of 24 species of
guenons, the Diana
monkey is threatened
as a result of habitat
loss and hunting
.

-1091-

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International Wildlife Encyclopedia - Vol. 8
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Golden Oriole 1012
  • Golden Potto 1014
  • Goldfinch 1016
  • Goldfish 1018
  • Goral 1021
  • Gorilla 1023
  • Goshawk 1027
  • Gouldian Finch 1030
  • Grackle 1032
  • Grasshopper 1035
  • Grassland 1038
  • Grass Snake 1042
  • Gray Fox 1045
  • Grayling 1047
  • Gray Seal 1049
  • Gray Whale 1052
  • Gray Wolf 1054
  • Great White Shark 1058
  • Grebe 1061
  • Greenfinch 1064
  • Greenhouse Frog 1066
  • Green Lizard 1068
  • Green Turtle 1070
  • Greylag Goose 1073
  • Groundhog 1075
  • Ground Squirrel 1078
  • Grouper 1081
  • Grouse 1084
  • Grunion 1087
  • Gudgeon 1089
  • Guenon 1091
  • Guillemot 1094
  • Guinea Fowl 1097
  • Guinea Pig 1099
  • Guitarfish 1102
  • Gundi 1104
  • Guppy 1106
  • Gurnard 1108
  • Gyrfalcon 1110
  • Haddock 1113
  • Hairless Bat 1115
  • Hairstreak Butterflies 1117
  • Hake 1119
  • Halibut 1121
  • Hamerkop 1123
  • Hammerhead Shark 1126
  • Hamster 1129
  • Harbor Seal 1132
  • Hare 1135
  • Harp Seal 1139
  • Harpy Eagle 1142
  • Harrier 1145
  • Hartebeest 1147
  • Index 1150
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