Patas Monkey

Species: Erythrocebus patas

Physical Description: Male Wt. 13 kg. Female Wt. 7 kg. Coat: long, coarse, white and dark. Skin: dark. Males have turquoise and red genitals. Locomotion: ground running and walking, climbing.

Ecology: Habitat: Northern Africa, above equatorial forest. Live in both forest and savannah, often moving between the two. Home range: 3200 ha. Day range: about 4000 m. Population: 1.5 individuals per km2.

Diet: 52% fruit, 2% leaves, 2% flowers, 43% prey and gum.

Social Organization: Group size: 11-30 individuals in mating group. Variable-sized bands of young males. Mating groups usually composed of one male and group of related females. Females are dominant, although males are twice as large. Non-territorial.

Intelligence: Throw sticks or rocks at predators. When predators approach, males may act as decoys, jumping on bushes, while females and juveniles hide.

Reproduction: Give birth in December and January, during the day (unusual). Males sexually mature at 4.5 years, Females sexually mature at 3 years. No estrus swellings. Interbirth interval: 1 year.

Parental care: In females, parental relationships last until adulthood. Males driven from group at or near sexual maturity. Females practice "allmothering," taking care of their own and other’s offspring.

Topics of Special Interest: Juvenile males often harrass adult males during copulation. Groups are adaptable, climbing in forest, terrestrial in savannah. Generally live in one-male groups, but occasionally live in multi-male groups. Females have not estrus swelling, and can have postconception estrus. Females are dominant. At predator’s approach, females often pick up the nearest infant, not necessarily their own, before hiding.

Bibliographic Sources: The Evolution of Primate Behavior, Allison Jolly

McDonald’s Encyclopedia of Mammals

Primate Societies, Barbara Smuts et. al.

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