Animalogy: Primate Basics by Bassam Imam - HTML preview
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-Grownup monkeys have sexual needs that are inherent and instinctual. Being with humans will not satisfy those needs regardless of how friendly the owner/s is.
-Sterilizing a monkey is not like sterilizing a dog or a cat.
-Monkeys that aren’t raised by their own kind are difficult
or sometimes impossible to return to the wild. Monkeys raised in human households live an unnatural life.
-Monkeys need much play time and space. Owners shouldn’t be
surprised if they find their house and much of the furniture in a mess or ransacked after leaving their monkey out.
-Cages must be large and cleaned regularly. Furthermore, keeping a monkey inside a barren cage indefinitely is cruel. It may lead to mental stress and acting out.
-A monkey may bite when startled, angered, frustrated or just plain ole playing. Their teeth are sharp and can inflict a very painful injury on a human’s thin delicate layer of skin.
-Removal of a monkey’s canine teeth is cruel and inhumane.
Monkeys without canines are helpless in the wild. As such, the defanged individual can never be returned or sent to the wild.
In addition, this procedure will not change the underlying behavioural problem/s.
-Monkeys have a particular odour, not to mention their
urine and feces. In general, they cannot be properly toilet trained.
-Proper veterinary medical care will likely be difficult.
The majority of city and town veterinarians DO NOT have training or experience in primate medicine.
-Monkeys are very energetic and active; they’ll get on
owners nerves at least some of the time but more likely much of the time.
-House training monkeys is not like training a cat or a dog. Once again, these animals are wild. There’s no house training in the wild. Monkeys poop and pee whenever they want to.
-Know the laws in your city, county, state or province before you even think about purchasing a monkey. If you get past the aforementioned requirements, you must then speak to your landlord.
-Will the owner/s walk their monkey, let it out into the yard or take it to the park? What about other animals’
reactions. Dogs in particular aren’t used to seeing primates.
Expect sudden aggression.
-Dressing the monkey may be possible when it’s young, but in adulthood it may be quite difficult. Besides, monkeys weren’t created to wear human clothing. Why should any monkey feel otherwise?
-Monkeys don’t understand morality or ethics. Peeing,
defecating or acting out sexually in front of guests may occur.
-There’s no guarantee that your monkey will like every
guest that enters your home. Fear or utter hatred may be the responses.
-How and where will an owner ‘rid’ themselves of their monkey child if they can no longer care for it?
-Where will the monkey be placed during vacation periods?
Will the owner/s take the monkey with them? Try finding a hotel or motel that allows monkey guests. If so, the owner/s will be responsible for any and all damages incurred. In addition, bus lines, trains and airlines are another big problem to deal with.
-Special foods for monkeys (usually not easy to obtain), clean water and plenty of love are needed daily.
-What about other pets and children in the household? What kind of family structure or dynamics can a monkey owner expect?
‘Sibling rivalry’ may occur. Yes, the monkey will likely perceive itself a child like the other siblings in the household.
Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas) slim, red-brown backed, gray-white abdomen, long-legged, prominent ribcage, a face containing a black brow ridge and white-coloured around the mouth.
There are 4 sub-species of Patas Monkeys. Patas Monkeys inhabits predominately treeless savannah country and semi-arid areas distributed from West Africa into East Africa but more prominent in west central Africa. A troop may consist of a dominant adult male with up to 15 individuals. In semi-arid regions Patas Monkeys must drink water 2 or 3 times every single day.
Patas Monkeys are likely the fastest terrestrial primate in
the world. They have long legs and an incredible stride, capable of running 35 mph. Although they can climb short trees, they prefer to outrun predators.
The Patas Monkey is built like a ‘Greyhound Primate’ of sorts. This monkey has the longest canines proportionate to its size in the Primate Order.
Although the Patas Monkey is quadrupedal, bipedalism occurs in emergencies or when carrying an object. They eat fruits, 21
flowers, leaves, stems, gums, insects, grubs, buds, insects, berries, seeds, lizards, young chicks and eggs.
Patas Females give birth to one infant following a
gestation period of more than 7 months.
Dangers to Patas Monkeys include habitat destruction,
pastureland and farmland expansion, big cats, birds of prey, hyenas and jackals. The IUCN has listed PM as Least Concern.
Male Vervet Monkeys weigh 11 to 18 lbs. females weigh 8 to 12 lbs. Their coat is olive-green or yellow to green-brown, the abdomen whitish and the cheeks and brows have white fur around them. Their limbs are gray-coloured and long and the genitals are blue and red.
Vervet Monkeys are diurnal, travel quadrupedally and
although terrestrial and arboreal, they tend to stay close to trees in order to evade predators.
Vervet Monkeys are the most widespread inhabitants of all African Monkeys, present in large swaths in sub-Saharan Africa; Western
Ethiopia) and to the southern tip of South Africa. Vervet monkeys can live in wooded areas (acacia tree woodland near bodies of water) but they do not inhabit forested areas. They tend to stay near trees because they’re not fast runners.
including an alpha male with related adult females and their offspring and low-ranking adult males.
Vervet Monkeys have distinct alarm calls for specific
predators which include big cats, wild cats, baboons, birds of prey, crocodiles and snakes.
Vervet Monkeys eat fruits, leaves, figs, seeds, flowers, bulb, roots and grass seeds, insects, eggs, grubs and baby chicks.
Vervet Monkeys can be atrocious pests when living near
alcoholic beverages that are left unattended.
Dangers to Vervet Monkeys include habitat destruction,
trapping, road kill, poison, electrocution, gunshots, bush meat and canids.
Vervet Monkeys and Rhesus Macaques are the most sought
after monkey species for biomedical research.
The Barbary Macaque is one of the most widely known and identified Old World Monkeys. This monkey species inhabits forests of cedar, pine and oak in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco, and also an introduced population in Gibraltar, which happens to be the only free-roaming population of monkeys in Europe. The Barbary Macaque is diurnal, terrestrial and arboreal.
Unlike other Macaques males help to raise and comfort the young, not only their own young but those of other too. Females tend to prefer males who are paternal. Groups consisting of 10
to 30 individuals are gregarious, males and females intermix.
Males tend to leave upon reaching puberty females stay in the group for life.
The Barbary Macaques has a yellowish-brown to gray coloured
coat with lower sides that are lighter. The face is dark pink and a vestigial (stub looking) tail is present. Another unusual feature is that the forelegs are longer than the hind legs.
Males can weigh up to 30 lbs. females are noticeably
Barbary Macaques eat fruits, leaves, roots and insects.
Dangers include habitat destruction and habitat fragmentation, expanding human settlement and retaliation killings for raiding crops. It is estimated that there are 12000 to 20000 individuals left in the wild. The IUCN has listed Barbary Macaques as Endangered.
The Gibraltar population of Barbary Macaques stands at 250.
This small population is controlled. Individuals on Gibraltar can sometimes be annoying to tourists, picking their pockets, pleading and begging for handouts. The IUCN has listed the Barbary Macaque as Endangered.
Rhesus Macaque’s distribution is wider than all primates
except for humans. It is diurnal, arboreal and terrestrial and a very good swimmer (upwards of .5 miles). Swimming is done to get from one place to another, to find food or to flee danger.
Rhesus Macaques are tolerant and very versatile in regards to types of habitats they’re able to live in. They’re likely to be found in tropical and temperate habitats that are semi-desert, dry, deciduous, bamboo, grasslands, woodlands and mountainous regions. Countries of habitat include Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Laos, Pakistan, Thailand and
In the wild Rhesus Macaques eat fruits, seeds, buds, bark, small animals and cereals. However, the Rhesus Macaque is also a crop raider and because groups can easily move from rural to urban areas they are notorious for begging and/or stealing food from humans. They have become pests in some areas, hounding the local population and tourists.
Rhesus Macaques are more prevalent amongst humans in India,
even living in Temples; therein they’re fed as an act of worship. Humans hand out fruits, vegetables, cereals and even sweets. Groups can contain up to 200 individuals; 80 percent of which are females.
The Rhesus Macaque has a brown or gray coloured coat, a bald pink face and lower-parts are lighter brown coloured, with 23
short hair on the apex of the head. Males weigh 14 to 25 lbs.
females weigh 12 lbs. Females give birth to one infant following a gestation period of 5 to 6.5 months. The Lifespan of Rhesus Macaque in the wild is 25 years.
Dangers to Rhesus Macaques include birds of prey, dogs, weasels, big cats, crocodiles and sharks, snakes, retaliatory killings for crop raiding.
Rhesus Macaques have been heavily used in biomedical
research because of the relative closeness to humans, ease of handling and availability.
The use of Rhesus Macaques has been instrumental in
research relating to smallpox, rabies, polio vaccines and the Rhesus factor in blood, HIV/AIDS drugs, embryonic stem cell research, embryonic development, increased comprehension of the female reproductive cycle and behavioural research. The IUCN has listed the Rhesus Macaque as Least Concern.
The Japanese Macaque is indigenous solely in Japan.
Although there’s a small population of these monkeys living near Laredo, Texas they were artificially placed there in 1972.
In addition to being a terrestrial monkey, the Japanese Macaque is without doubt the northern most inhabitants of all primates except for humans, in particular the population living in Northern Honshu. Therein, since the mid-1940s the population has skyrocketed ten-fold. This is a diurnal monkey species spending much of its time in forests; in particular sub-tropical to sub-alpine forests, and broadleaf and evergreen forests (under 5000 ft.).
Male Japanese Macaques weigh 22 to 30 lbs. females weigh 17
to 22 lbs. Individuals have brown-gray fur, pinkish face and a short tail. There are up to 150000 Macaques in the wild, normally living in groups of 20 to 100 individuals, but sometimes
outnumber males 3 to 1. There is a strict hierarchy system with a quite noticeable pecking order. Females give birth to one infant after a 6 month gestation period. They are promiscuous, copulating with up to a dozen males during the mating season.
Japanese Macaques are one of the most intelligent of the Old World Monkeys species. In addition to having a larger brain than other monkey species they’re tough, versatile and able to endure extremes of weather. They can control their hands and fingers with incredible dexterity.
Japanese Macaques eat fruits, seeds, roots, buds, crabs, frogs, snakes, berries, shoots, mussels and a plethora of human foods.
Japanese Macaques inhabiting the far north huddle together for warmth and dip themselves into hot springs. These behaviours 24
are passed onto others in the group and to subsequent
In 1953 Japanese researchers on the Island of Kojima took notice of a female Japanese Macaque who they later named Imo, wash sand off a dirty sweet potato. This incredible behaviour was passed onto other members of her group and to the next generation. Furthermore, Imo ingeniously washed off dirt from grains of wheat by tossing chunks into the water.
Other groups of Japanese Macaques have been observed taking
a bit out of a potato and then dipping it into salty water; most likely for the salty taste. In addition, individuals given food by scientists have been observed grabbing their fill and then leaving on two legs or even hopping on one leg to keep hold of the food in their hands.
Japanese Macaques can be a nuisance to humans. They have harassed people until given food, snuck into cars, picked pockets and incredibly used coins to obtain food from vending machines, entering homes and finding food or demanding food.
They can get vocal and even physical if need be.
Farmers have used dogs to successfully ward off crop
raiding groups of Japanese Macaques; they have an inherent fear of canines.
Japanese Macaques use vocalizations (with varying dialects between groups) as one of their tools of communication. The IUCN
has listed the Japanese Macaque as Least Concern.
The Tibetan Macaque inhabits sub-tropical areas (mixed
deciduous to evergreen) forest in China and the far northeast of India. The range extends from Huangshan in Anhui Provence reaching Tibet. In India, however the range is more limited.
Although some Tibetan Macaque groups’ range overlaps that of Rhesus Macaque the altitudes of stay for both are different, with rhesus Macaques prefer the lower/warmer areas. Tibetan Macaques grow thick fur to stay warm in cold climates.
The Tibetan Macaque has thick, long brown-coloured fur and whiskers. The face is free of hair. Infants are black and silver coloured, with changes in colour occurring at 2 years of age.
Groups of Tibetan Macaques are numbered in the dozens,
composed of multi-males multi-females and their young. Alpha males have priority mating with females. However, the reign is usually around a year. Nasty fights occur for the alpha position. In addition, other fights occur between other males.
There is a strict hierarchy system in every group.
Tibetan Macaque females give birth (usually in January or February) to one infant after a gestation period of 5 months.
Males weigh 30 to 40 lbs. females weigh 27 to 29 lbs. The Tibetan Macaque is the largest of all Macaques.
Males leave their groups at least once in a lifetime,
females usually stay. Larger groups tend to splinter into smaller groups.
Tibetan Macaques eat fruits, leaves, seeds, berries,
flowers, small animals, grass, roots and insects.
Lifespan in the wild is 20 to 25 years, but healthy and strong individuals may attain an age of 30. As a common rule, females are healthier than males. Dangers include habitat destruction, poaching, pesticides and herbicides and in-fighting between members. The IUCN has listed the Tibetan Macaque as Near Threatened and a population trend that is decreasing.
A quite visible physical characteristic in all Baboon
species is their dog-like face. In addition, a stare, open-mouth with canines showing, or a bobbing head with teeth hidden are to be perceived as threats. Humans have been bitten and attacked by monkeys. Baboons, however, can inflict serious injuries on an unarmed man or woman. If you work thinking about working with primates or any other animal species, even small ones, you should know and understand the possible dangers to you (physical attacks and zoonotic diseases) before making your commitment.
Seek reliable/objective sources.
Hamadryas Baboons inhabit semi-desert, savannas and rocky terrains in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen.
They always live near a water source and can survive in areas at a height of 8500 ft. The Hamadryas is the northern most of all baboon species. It was considered sacred in Ancient Egypt, considered the attendant of Thoth (an Egyptian Deity); hence its nickname ‘Sacred Baboon’.
Sexual dimorphism is quite apparent, with male Hamadryas Baboons twice the size of females. The weight range is 20 to 48
lbs. Males have a gray-brown or silver-gray coloured coat with an extended shoulder cape. Cheek hairs are lighter coloured forming a visible bushy mane. Females have an olive-brown coat.
The Ischial callosity (rump pad) on both sexes is either pink or glaring red coloured. All adults have long-tailed.
Regarding group sizes, clans are the smallest. Several
families equal a clan; several clans equal a band and several bands equal a troop.
generally stay in their own group for life. A dominant male may have up to ten females. Not only will the dominant male ferociously defend his femmes against rivals and danger, but he’ll also corral and even bite them if they dare to stray. In 26
effect, the dominant male demands absolute ownership of his femmes.
Adult males tolerate a ‘shadow male’ or ‘follower male’. He
won’t even allow aggression between his femmes. No doubt this is for social cohesion. Clan sizes range from 7 to over 20.
Hamadryas baboon junior males often befriend a young,
innocent female, mould her and upon her reaching puberty will attempt to copulate with her.
Hamadryas breeding patterns are year-round. The dominant
male gets almost all or all copulations. Sometimes junior males can sneak a mounting now and then.
Females give birth to one infant after a gestation period of 5.5 months to 6 months. Under normal conditions, birthing occurs bi-annually thereafter.
Hamadryas Baboons eat fruits, tree gums, roots, nuts, eggs,
acacia seeds, grass seeds, small vertebrates and small birds.
Hamadryas Baboons face less predatory threats than other Baboon species. However, all’s not perfect; where applicable transformation
raiding, lions, leopards and birds of prey. The IUCN has listed Hamadryas Baboons as Least Concern.
The Mandrill (Mandrillus Sphinx) is closely related to the Drill and Baboon, especially the Drill. In the recent past, Mandrills and Drills were incorrectly classified under the Genus Papio as Baboons.
Mandrills inhabit tropical rainforests in western central Africa; specifically Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo. The parameters of the Mandrills range reaches south of the Sanaga River (Cameroon) extending to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to southern Congo west of the Congo River.
Mandrills are the largest and most colourful of Old World Monkey species. They have long limbs possess an upright short-tail, an olive-green or gray coat, yellow beard, white tuffs, red and blue rump, have a quite visible red stripe down an elongated muzzle and noticeable blue coloured ridges on the side of their nose. Adult males, in particular the dominant males usually have the brightest colours, which also include the genital area and rump, to clearly distinguish them from others.
As a general rule, females are more attracted to brightly coloured males.
Sexual dimorphism is quite apparent with males twice the size of females. Males weigh 55 to 80 lbs. females weigh 25 to 35 lbs. However, unusually large males can attain a weight of 110 lbs.
Mandrills are diurnal, semi-arboreal, sleep in trees at
night but forage through the forest floor during the day. They live in large stable groups, reaching several hundred, but the 27
largest group recorded had over 1300 individuals, located in Lope’ National Park (Lagon). Groups may roam around for several miles a day in search of food. Because large Mandrill groups are quite difficult to count, a method used to attain statistical accuracy (or near accuracy) is to observe and record ‘a horde’
of Mandrills while they’re travelling in an open area.
Males leave their group, commonly re-entering the group
during the period of female oestrus cycle. Mandrill society is polygamous.
Mandrills self-scratch often; dominant males do so more than other members. Part of the reason may be stress-related. In addition, they have different calls for short-distance and long distance. In addition, Mandrills and their close relatives possess a scent gland in their sternum.
Females give birth to one infant following a gestation
period of 6 to 7 months. Mandrills in captivity can live for 31
Mandrills eat fruits, seeds (even crushed), shoots, piths, leaves, stems, bark, fungi, crops, insects, invertebrates, small vertebrates and duiker.
Dangers to Mandrills include habitat destruction, bush
meat, retaliatory killings for crop raiding. Depending on the location of the group, any large predator that poses a danger to other large monkey species is also a danger to Mandrills. The IUCN has listed the Mandrill as Vulnerable.
Drills are closely related to Mandrills and Baboons,
individuals may reach 100 lbs. females weigh 28 to 35 lbs. The coat on the back is olive-green, the face and ears are black, prominent grooves on the nose, the chin is red and the abdomen can be white or gray-white coloured, bi-coloured scrotum (bright pink and pale reddish-purple), the penis and anal region are red coloured. Excitement causes the pink skin to become strongly indicated. Males are more brightly coloured than are females.
The Drill is a remarkably coloured monkey. However, even the Drill cannot match the Mandrill in multi-coloured beauty.
Drills prefer to inhabit mature primary forests in Cameroon, Nigeria and on the Island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea.
Drill groups usually contain 20 individuals but can reach 200 when multi-groups merge together. Smaller groups operate on a unimale system where one dominant adult male receives the most of copulations.
Males tend to leave their group, sometimes becoming
solitary. Drills have a scent gland on their sternum which they use to mark their territory. It is done by rubbing their chests on trees.
Females give birth to one infant following a 6 month
gestation period. Drills can live up to 30 years.
Drills eat fruits, herbs, roots, insects and small animals.
Drills in the wild may number as few as 4000 but probably no higher than 10000. In fact, they are among Africa’s most endangered primates. Their numbers are declining; dangers include habitat destruction and fragmentation, bush meat, hunting and human expansion. The IUCN has listed the Drill as Endangered.
The Proboscis Monkey inhabits the Island of Borneo (an
island in South East Asia in which portions are occupied by the sultanate of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia). They prefer coastal mangrove, swamps and riverine forests, staying close to rivers and estuaries. They are diurnal and arboreal.
protruding nose; females have long noses for primates but are of no comparison to their male counterparts. Females are attracted to males with larger noses. The nose also acts as a tool to enhance shouts and calls.
Another unusual/prominent feature of the Proboscis is its extraordinarily large stomach, capable of holding 25 percent of the weight of an individual in food. The Proboscis diet and biochemical structure of their digestive system give them a permanent bloated look. The penis appears erect most of the time. In addition, their feet are slightly webbed, as they are good swimmers and climbers, capable of wading in waters bipedally extensively.
Individuals have a reddish-brown coat, red around the head and shoulders, gray coloured limbs and tail, a black scrotum (testicular sac) and red penis. Sexual dimorphism is apparent, males weigh up to 55 lbs. females weigh up to 26 lbs.
Groups range from 8 to 32 individuals. Males have multiple females to copulate and socialize with. In addition, males help in caring for their offspring.
Proboscis Monkeys eat leaves, seeds, flowers and insects.
Dangers to Proboscis Monkeys include habitat loss, plantation expansion (especially palm oil), hunting and capture. The IUCN
has listed Proboscis Monkeys as Endangered. There may only be a few thousand individuals left in the wild. In addition, Proboscis Monkeys have lost 50 percent of their habitat in the past 4 decades.
The Common Squirrel Monkey prefers tropical rainforests,
tropical dry forests, predominately in the Amazon Basin, Bolivia, including Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela.
The Common Squirrel Monkey has a short, gray or olive
coloured coat, bright yellow or orange legs, white-faced, gray 29
forehead and a dark coloured mouth. The tail is longer than the body. Males weigh 1.65 lbs. females weigh slightly over 1 pound.
This is an agile monkey with a fast metabolism.
The Common Squirrel Monkey is diurnal and predominantly
arboreal, spending most of the day in the middle canopy, but sometimes higher to evade predators.
Common Squirrel Monkey groups usually contain 20 to 40
individuals but can reach 300. Groups are multi-male multi-female, polygynous, separated into adult male bands, mother and infant bands and juveniles. During the mating season males become
searching for a partner.
Group members sleep together in trees. If you want to hold a squirrel monkey in your arms, be aware that it is a normal habit for individuals to smear urine on their hands and feet to mark territory and to leave a scent trail. Males indicate dominance by ‘flashing’ their private parts to other males.
Females give birth to one infant following a gestation of 5
to 6 months. Births generally occur during the highest rain season. Lifespan in captivity can reach just over 20 years.
Common Squirrel Monkeys eat fruits, flowers, nectar,
insects and small vertebrates. Dangers include habitat loss, pet trade, biomedical research, big cats and snakes. The IUCN has listed the CSM as Least Concern.
Capuchin Monkeys have historically been used as street
performers by organ grinders and other street vendors to attain tips from passersby.
The Black Capuchin Monkey (Cebus nigritus) inhabits the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil and north-eastern Argentina.
The Black Capuchin Monkey population is believed to be
declining. Dangers include habitat destruction, hunting, pet trade, big cats, snakes and birds of prey. The IUCN has listed the BCM as Near Threatened.
Tamarin Monkeys are roughly the size of squirrels. The mane
on their faces gives them a lion or majestic look. They are often referred to as ‘Kings of the Jungle’. The colour of coats and manes vary considerably amongst the Tamarin species.
Tamarin Monkeys can be found in the forests of southern Central
rainforests in Brazil.
Tamarins are around a foot tall; the tail adds another 5 or
6 inches to the length. Individuals weigh up to 2 lbs. In addition, they have long lower canine teeth.
Tamarins are arboreal, diurnal and have are extra sensitive
to direct sunlight. They take shade in dense forests during this time.
Tamarins travel by leaping from tree to tree, clinging on with their fingers.
Tamarin groups may contain upwards of 3 dozen members.
However, the main group is a family group. Mating is done one a year. Female Tamarins usually give birth to twins following a gestation
Tamarins have an elaborate vocal repertoire.
Tamarins eat fruits, other plants, insects, arachnids, bird eggs, snakes and small vertebrates.
Dangers to Tamarins include habitat destruction, human
settlement expansion, agricultural expansion, eagles, wild cats and jaguars and tayras (a member of the weasel family).
arboreal, diurnal and quadrupedal. Furthermore, it is proficient at walking through trees, hanging onto branches by their arms or tails.
The Mantled Howler coat is predominately black, with a
thread-like colouring of gold or tan on the left and ride sides hence its name. However, the MH also gets its name from its unusually loud and emanating howl, caused by a super-sized hyoid bone in the throat (significantly more pronounced in males).
This extraordinary howling routine helps individuals conserve energy; they can call out to other individuals, their group or warn intruders, often times without so much as leaving their position.
Mantled Howler’s scrotum will turn white upon attaining
Mantled Howlers weigh 11 to 17 lbs. males are larger than females.
Mantled Howler groups are highly social generally and also polygamous, containing 10 to 20 individuals, but some reaching a few dozen in number.
The Mantled Howler is folivorous (herbivore that primarily eats leaves); a diet consisting primarily of mature leaves and also fruits and flowers.
Breeding can occur at any time of the year. Females give birth to one infant after a gestation period of 6 months.
Dangers to Mantled Howlers include habitat destruction and fragmentation, birds of prey, snakes, weasels and wild cats. The Mantled Howler is better adept at surviving in fragmented forests than other monkey species. The IUCN has listed the Mantled Howler as Least Concern.
The Chestnut-Bellied Titi (Callicebus caligatus) Titi inhabits forested areas in northwest Brazil. The IUCN has listed this species as Least Concern.
The Black Bearded Saki Monkey (Chiropotes satanas)The
Black-Bearded Saki Monkey predominantly inhabits un-flooded forests, but can also be found in swampy forests and montane savannah in the eastern Amazon in Brazil.
Black Bearded Saki Monkey males weigh 4.5 to 8.5 lbs.
females weigh 4.4 to 7 lbs. The tail is long in relative to the body.
Black Bearded Saki Monkeys have a thick black coat
including the beard which is thick and long, and dark brown coloured on the back and the shoulders. They are diurnal preferring the higher canopy of the forest. Groups contain 7 to over 30 individuals, including a few males. Groups often do not return to the same sleeping tree every night.
The Black Bearded Saki eats fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds,
and small animals. The IUCN has listed the BBS as Critically Endangered.
The Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemur inhabits lowland and highland primary rainforests in Madagascar. It was rediscovered in 1989.
Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemurs have clusters of long wavy soft hairs on the ears; hence the scientific name. The coat is brownish-gray coloured, with shades of lighter coloured hair.
The tail is brown tinged with red. They weigh 2.65 to 3.5 oz.
Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemurs are nocturnal, enter periods of torpor, sleep in tree nests made from leaves; the nests are located in tree holes. Up to a dozen individuals sleep inside the nests, which are believed to include a mating pair and their offspring.
Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemurs fruits, honey, plant gum (this
species has sharp claws and large upper incisors indicating bark scraping capability) and insects.
It is believed that there are only 100 to 1000 Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemurs remaining the wild. Dangers include habitat destruction for the purposes of agriculture and logging, and hunting and trapping for food. The IUCN as listed the HEDL as Endangered.
The Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) inhabits forested areas in western and southern Madagascar along the coastal area.
Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemurs weigh from a low of about 5 ounces in November (onset of the rainy season) to a high of 7.5 ounces in March (cessation of the rainy season).
The legs of the Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur are significantly longer than the arms. In addition, fat deposits or stores are built-up in the tail for the period of torpor, as Lemurs do not 32
control their body temperature during this period. The tail may swell up to 3 times its original size. In addition, like most prosimians, the Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur has a tooth-comb in its lower jaw used for grooming. The coat is pale or silver-gray, with faded or sparse reddish or brown on the back. The sides are brownish-white coloured. The area around the eyes is dark-coloured and the face is gray or brownish coloured. The ears are hairless.
The most striking characteristic of Lemurs is their
humungous eyes. In the eyes is a reflective tapetum lucidum, which gives individuals good night vision.
occurring in November, with females being dominant over males in all aspects of life.
During torpor up to 5 individuals sleep together in tree nests (tree holes). Females usually give birth to twins however the broad range is 1 to 4 infants following a gestation period of 60 to 65 days.
All lemurs are nocturnal (active at night). In fact, the word ‘lemur’ means ghost.
Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemurs are arboreal and quadrupedal.
However, they’re not proficient leapers.
Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur eats fruit, nectar derived from flowers, leaf buds, tree gums, insects and small vertebrates.
Dangers the Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemurs include potential
habitat destruction and fragmentation; much of Madagascar’s forests have been obliterated. Hunting is a lesser problem because of the shy and nocturnal habits of the FTDL. The arrival of humans has resulted in the extinction of roughly 15 species of Lemurs. The FTDL fairs better than most other Lemur species.
The IUCN has listed the FTDL as Least Concern.
Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus)
The Gray Mouse Lemur inhabits a wide variety of densely forested areas but preferring secondary forests to primary forests in Madagascar.
Although Gray Mouse Lemurs are one of the smallest existing
primates, they are the largest of the Mouse Lemur species.
Individuals have soft fur, short muzzle, roundish skull, long tail; hind legs are longer than forelegs, very large eyes and ears. Overall coat colour is brownish-gray. The lower incisors and canines are long and thin, used for grooming, hence it is referred to as a dental comb. The general range of weight for the Gray Mouse Lemur is 2 to 2.5 oz.
The Gray Mouse Lemur is nocturnal, arboreal, move through the forest quadrupedally and can leap well. The tail is very important, used for balance.
Gray Mouse Lemur groups converge together at a frequently used nest (a tree hole) to sleep during the day. These sleeping sites can contain up to a dozen individuals or more. Males generally sleep in pairs; females tend to share their nest.
Gray Mouse Lemur mating system is multi male multi female, polygynous. Males form dominance hierarchies before the mating season. Males’ testes enlarge significantly during the mating season. Nevertheless, females are dominant over males.
GML females generally give birth to twins, but sometimes 3
infants are born. The gestation period is 2 months long.
Gray Mouse Lemurs fall into torpor daily, especially during
the cool, dry winter.
Gray Mouse Lemurs use vocalization and scent marking (urine
and feces) regularly.
Gray Mouse Lemurs eat insects, but will also eat leaves, fruits, flowers, nectar and other plant materials, some gums, lizards, arachnids and small frogs.
Dangers to GML include habitat loss, hunting, pet trade, snakes, birds of prey, owls, snakes, mongoose and domestic dogs.
The IUCN has listed the GML as Least Concern.
The Coquerel’s Giant Mouse Lemur (Mirza coquereli) is
nocturnal, sleeping during the day. Adult males indicate aggressive behaviour whenever they’re both present on the edge of each other’s border. This behaviour will intensify if a male were to enter deep into another male’s territory.
Both sexes of Coquerel’s Giant Mouse Lemur leave their
groups upon reaching maturity. Individuals tend to be solitary.
Males and females will join during the mating season but seldom outside of this period.
Coquerel’s Giant Mouse Lemur females generally give birth to twins but triplets have been recorded, following a gestation period of 3 months.
Coquerel’s Giant Mouse Lemurs eat insects and insect
secretions, arachnids, small mammals, fruits and flowers.
Dangers to CGML include birds of prey. Any habitat loss will adversely affect this species. The IUCN has listed the CGML as Near Threatened.
inhabits the east coast of Madagascar and also part of the western coast in central Madagascar. Historically, much of AA habitat has been devastated. Nevertheless, this species still has a somewhat wide but fragmented distribution; it is able to survive in a variety of forest types.
The Aye-aye has a rough, bushy black coat with white
coloured guard hairs (outer hairs or enveloping hairs). The Aye Aye weighs around 6.5 lbs. It is the largest nocturnal primate.
The Aye-aye is solitary much of the time. The ranges of males overlap, the females’ never do. Aye-aye mating system is polygamous, with males becoming extremely aggressive. Males have been observed yanking other males off of females during mating.
Females are generally aggressive towards each other.
Aye-aye can become quite fearless in the wild, approaching
a human and even sniffing his/her shoes. Other accounts document Aye-ayes ‘marching’ through villages.
Aye-ayes have continuously growing incisors; they were once thought to be rodents. In addition, they have long ears, and a long skeleton-like ‘woodpecker finger’; a middle finger that is used to draw out insect larvae from tree holes. Aye-ayes tap on trunks and branches of trees with lightning-fast speed. This is how they search for hollow chambers in trees.
Aye-ayes eat insect larvae and other animal matter, fruits,
nectar, nuts, seeds and fungi. Dangers to Aye-ayes include unfounded Malagasy villager superstitions like this species being evil; being a harbinger of death with only one method to
‘reverse’ the ‘curse’, to kill the Aye-aye.
It is believed that if an Aye-aye points its middle finger at a person death, is imminent. Yet still another belief states that Aye-ayes break into homes and kill the occupants by jabbing their hearts with the notorious ‘woodpecker finger’. Thankfully, these superstitions are not believed by all Malagasy villagers.
reduced. Other dangers to Aye-ayes include habitat destruction and retaliation killings for crop raiding. The IUCN has listed the Aye-aye as Near Threatened.
The Eastern Woolly (Avahi laniger) inhabits tropical humid lowland forests and montane forests in western Madagascar. The body coat is dense and coarse, it is gray-brown or brown tinged with red. The appendages are white or whitish coloured and the tail is orange tinged with red. Be aware that there are considerable variations amongst individuals.
Hairs on the face of the Eastern Wooly Lemur have little length, and the somewhat hidden ears are of limited size. Like other Lemurs Species the eyes are prominent. The nose is of limited size and a white-coloured band spans the thigh.
Individuals weigh l pound and 5 ounces to 2 lbs. 14 oz.
depending on the season.
Eastern Woolly Lemurs are nocturnal and do much vertical clinging and also leaping for motion. They spend much of the time resting and sleeping.
Eastern Woolly Lemurs tend to be monogamous, living as a nuclear family; raising their young together. However the mother does most of the rearing. Females usually give birth to one 35
infant, sometimes twins following a gestation period of 4.5
Eastern Woolly Lemurs primarily eat leaves, but also eat fruit, flowers, twigs and buds. Their primary source of nutrition (leaves) is low in nutritional value. Dangers to EWL
production and expansion, hunting, seldom caught in snares, owls and hawks. The IUCN has listed the EWL as Least Concern.
The Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema) predominately
inhabits primary and montane forests in eastern Madagascar from the Mamanara River northwards. Although it is widely distributed many of the habitats are fragmented.
Diademed Sifaka is a large lemur, with a somewhat long, soft and abundant. Long white hairs surround the mouth and covers over the cheeks, forehead and chin; hence the name diademed. The eyes are reddish with a tinge of brown, the mouth lacks in length and the face is dark-coloured. The upper back and shoulders are dark gray or dark-coloured. The apex of the head is dark-coloured sometimes this colouring reaches the back of the neck. Moving downwards on the back the colour lightens.
Individuals weigh 10 to 16 lbs.
The area between the ribs and hip and tail are faded gray, but can also be lighter-coloured. Hands and feet are dark coloured. The appendages and beginning of the tail are dark golden.
Males possess a coetaneous gland. It is coloured red tinged
The Diademed Sifaka is diurnal and arboreal. It can feed at
any level of the canopy, but sometimes individuals descend to the forest floor to pick up scraps or fallen fruits. This species is a vertical clinger and is proficient at leaping between trees. Amazingly, it can do this while still in an upright body posture. The legs are very strong, one third longer than the arms.
Diademed Sifaka groups are multi male multi female, ranging
in size from 3 to 10 individuals. They are territorial, using scent marking to demarcate their territory. Females are dominant over males.
Diademed Sifaka females give birth to one infant following a gestation period of 4 months. Infants cling onto their mother’s abdomen for several months. Later they hitch a ride on her back.
Diademed Sifakas predominately eat leaves and seeds.
However, they also eat fruits, new plant growths and flowers.
Life expectancy in the wild is 18 years. They enjoy sunbathing.
Dangers to Diademed Sifakas include persistent habitat
protected areas. The taboo pertaining to the latter danger is weakening. In addition, Diademed Sifakas seem unafraid and un-apprehensive near humans; an often deadly trait. There are less than 10000 DS left in the wild. The IUCN has listed the DS as Endangered.
The Common Brown Lemur (Eulmer fulvus) inhabits a variety of forest type areas in north-western, northern and eastern Madagascar. In addition, CBL live on the island of Mayotte; very likely introduced to this island by humans.
Common Brown Lemurs have short, thick fur that is
predominately brown or gray tinged with brown. The face, nose and apex of the head are dark coloured, the beard is light coloured and the eyes are orange-reddish.
Common Brown Lemur groups are multi male multi female,
ranging in size from a few individuals to over a dozen. However, on the island of Mayotte groups can attain larger sizes. Females usually give birth to one infant, but twins do occur, following a gestation period of 4 months. Individuals can live for 3
decades, and sometimes longer.
Common Brown Lemurs primarily eat leaves, but will also eat
fruits, flowers bark and earth. Dangers to CBL include habitat destruction through slash-and-burn, logging, charcoal production and hunting. The latter has become more sophisticated with the use of both primitive and modern weaponry. The IUCN as listed the CBL as Near Threatened.
primarily inhabits humid forest containing bamboo and marshland mainly in Eastern Madagascar, but also in western Madagascar.
Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur coat is predominately gray in colour. Some individuals have a red mark on their head. The teeth are particularly formed for eating bamboo. In addition, it possesses a tooth comb used for grooming. Individuals weigh l.5
lbs to just over 2 lbs.
Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur is active during the day and night, spending much of its time eating. This is an arboreal species. Movement is primarily done by leaping and preferring to land on the rear limbs.
Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur groups are small, usually
consisting of a mating couple and their offspring, 2 to 6
individuals. The mating system can be monogamous or polygynous.
Both sexes tend to leave their group. Grooming is a regular activity performed to cement social relations and to remove dead skin and parasite from the groomed one.
The Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur is very territorial, not tolerating their own kind encroaching on their territory. Vocal displays, territorial marking, and physical displays occur. As a 37
last resort, a physical confrontation may occur however, this is not common.
Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur primarily eats bamboo stems (75
to 90 percent of their diet), leaves, shoots and earth. Dangers to EBL include habitat loss through slash-and-burn agriculture, destruction of bamboo and the pet trade. The IUCN has listed the EBL as Vulnerable.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) inhabits a variety of forest types in south and south-western Madagascar. Depending on the season and location this species lives in both extreme of temperature in Madagascar, the highest and lowest temperatures.
Ring-Tailed Lemur coat is predominately black tinged with gray. The appendages and tail are farer. The appendages and abdominal region are lighter-coloured. The mouth is black. The most striking feature of the RTL is the white and black-coloured banding on the tail. Individuals weigh around 4.5 lbs.
Although the Ring-Tailed Lemur is predominately arboreal it spends considerably more time on the forest floor than other Lemur species, travelling therein quadrupedally. In addition, it is diurnal.
Ring-Tailed Lemur groups are very social, containing
between 5 and 30 individuals. Females are usually dominant over males. Olfactory communication is very important for both sexes.
Ring-Tailed Lemurs purr and mew like cats. RTL love to bask
in the sun. They are able to eat a wide variety of foods including fruits, leaves, flowers, gum and sap, spiders, insects, bird eggs and small mammals. In addition, during times of water shortage, they are capable of extracting it from fruits.
Ring-Tailed Lemur females usually give birth to one infant following a gestation period of 4.5 months. Lifespan in the wild may reach 19 years. In captivity, though, it can reach 27 years.
Dangers to the Ring-Tailed Lemur include habitat loss, slash-and-burn for pastureland expansion, charcoal production, bush meat and the pet trade. The IUCN has listed the RTL as Near Threatened.
The Greater Bamboo Lemur (GBBL) or Broad-Nosed Bamboo Lemur
inhabits fragmented and tiny rainforests in south-eastern and south-central Madagascar. It has been shown by sub fossil remains that GBBL once had a vast range within the northern, north-western, central and eastern Madagascar. Today’s habitat is a tiny, fragmented version of the days of old.
The Greater Bamboo Lemur the largest of the 3 Lemur
species. The coat is predominately greyish tinged with brown.
Individuals weigh up to 5.5 lbs. and the tail is long.
The Greater Bamboo Lemur is usually most active at dawn and
dusk. Night activity is also frequent. Groups range from a few individuals to 12. Males are believed to be dominant over females.
The Greater Bamboo Lemur predominately eats giant bamboo, preferring the shoots. They also eat other bamboo species, fruits and flowers. This Lemur species consumes cyanide that is within the bamboo shoots. The quantity of this poison eaten daily could kill the average mammal or human.
Greater Bamboo Lemur Females give birth to one infant
following a gestation period of 4.75 months. Dangers to GBBL
include habitat loss, slash-and-burn agriculture, felling of bamboo and hunting. Hunting of this Lemur species is usually done with the use of primitive weapons. Retaliatory killings occur for raiding rice paddy fields. The IUCN has listed the Greater Bamboo Lemur as Critically Endangered.
The Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata)
inhabits choppy and fragmented eastern humid, lowland to center altitude rainforests in Madagascar.
The Black and White Ruffed Lemur along with the Red-Ruffed Lemur are the largest species of existing lemurs. From the tip of the tail to the head individuals can attain a length of 4
feet. There is no sexual dimorphism, as both sexes look alike.
The most visible features are the black and white markings (skunk-like but with lots more white colour throughout the body). In addition, this Lemur species has a collar of long white hair around the ears and neck. The muzzle is dog-like.
Individuals weigh 8 to 10 lbs.
Black and White Ruffed Lemur groups generally consist of 2
to 5 individuals, consisting of a mating pair and their offspring. They are social, loud and very territorial. Meetings between individuals take on a ceremonial expression. Scent marking and grooming are normal behaviours for this Lemur species.
Black and White Ruffed Lemur usually sleep in hollow trees in a curled up position. They are primarily diurnal but can be active during the beginning of night. In addition, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are proficient climbers travelling on long branches by walking or leaping. Terrestrial habitation is very uncommon.
Black and White Ruffed Lemurs primarily eat fruits, but also eat leaves, seeds (they are particular about the kind of seed eaten), nectar and flowers. This species tends to be picky about food choices.
Black and White Ruffed Lemur females give birth to litters following a gestation period of 3.3 to 3.5 months. Females place their infants in prepared nests which are hidden from dangers.
Dangers include habitat loss (primarily logging), slash-and-burn agriculture, mining and bush meat. Because of their size and living habits it is not difficult to spot and kill. The IUCN has listed
inhabits dry deciduous forest in the space separating the Betsiboka and Mahavavy du Sud Rivers.
AEECL’s name was derived as a tribute to the Association Europeene pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lemuriens. AEECL’s has binocular vision. The hands and feet contain special pads on the digits to aid in clinging. The face is gray-coloured. The ears are prominent, and roundish. The lower forehead hair is dark coloured. Thin and scattered stripes flow upwards to the center of the back and then lose the striped appearance as it approaches the tail area. The back is gray or gray tinged with red. The abdominal region can be faded gray or deep gray coloured. The tail can be gray tinged with red or light orange red-coloured that may contain a bit of gray.
Locomotion is primarily done through clinging and leaping.
AEECL’s females generally give birth to one infant. The IUCN has listed the AEECL’s in the Data Deficient Category.
Pottos inhabit a broad range of rainforests spanning
westward and southward from Gambia reaching western
Pottos are long and slim. Hind limbs and forelimbs are almost the same length. The dense, fluffy fur is gray tinged with brown or brown tinged with gray, including various shades.
The thumbs are opposable however the index finger is extremely short, somewhat stub-like. They possess comb and a grooming claw.
A defensive physical feature of the Potto is the ‘spiked vertebrate’ consisting of somewhat lengthy spines in the neck region of the spine. Both sexes have big scent glands beneath the tail. Some scientists and observers claim that Pottos smell like curry. Pottos weigh 1.5 lbs. to 3.5 lbs.
Pottos are arboreal, nocturnal and move through the forest slowly
territorial regarding same sex conspecifics. However, males’
territories overlap 2 or more females’ territories. Mutual grooming is an important part of the courting process.
Potto males tend to leave their group, while females are usually granted a piece of their mother’s territory. If all warnings fail, a male will fiercely fight an intruding male.
Pottos primarily eat fruits, but they also eat noxious
smelling insects (especially caterpillars, but will remove the spikes before consumption), plant gums, arachnids and small 40
vertebrates. Pottos may eat bats or small birds on occasion, as they have very powerful jaws. In addition, their stomachs are specially designed to hold a large quantity of food.
Potto females generally give birth to one infant, but twins
sometimes occur following a gestation period of 5.5 months.
Infants cling onto their mother’s abdominal region. Later, they get a free ride on her back. Maximum recorded lifespan in captivity is 26 years. Dangers to Pottos include palm civets and bush meat. In addition, felling of trees during the daytime is extremely dangerous for Pottos because they are nocturnal. In addition, this species is slow-moving and has a tendency of freezing still when danger or perceived danger arises. The IUCN
has listed the Pottos as Least Concern.
The Gray Slender Loris (Loris lydekkerianus) inhabits a
broad range of forest types, including subtropical and tropical dry forests and sub-tropical and tropical moist lowlands in India and Sri Lanka.
Gray Slender Loris’ back is brown tinged with red and the lower side is white and gray or whitish and gray. GRSL is small weighing 3 to 13 oz. Its limbs are long but it is tailless. The index finger is well-developed. The large toe on each foot opposes the other toes, thereby allowing for a pincer grip. The eyes are forward-facing allowing for good depth perception. The ears are roundish and without hairs on the edges. This Loris species does not have a tail.
Gray Slender Lorises are nocturnal. They sleep in small groups curled up in a tree. In addition, they are arboreal. It moves slowly through the forest. Groups tend to be multi-male multi-female, with females dominating males. Vocalizations, urine and scent marking are important behaviours.
Gray Slender Lorises primarily eat insects (usually eating the entire body), but will also eat fruits, plant materials, eggs and small animals.
Gray Slender Loris mating is performed while hanging upside
down from a tree branch. Females give birth to 1 or 2 infants following a gestation period of 5.5 months. Maximum lifespan in the wild is just under 20 years. Dangers to GRSL include habitat loss, road kill, electrocution, pet trade, traditional medicine and ironically some superstitious killings. The IUCN has listed the GRSL as Least Concern. Its population appears to be healthy.
Nevertheless, habitat loss is continuing. At the current rate of destruction, the Gray Slender Loris could be re-classified as Near Threatened. Thankfully, we’re not there yet.
The Brown Greater Galago (Otolemur crassicaudatus) inhabits a broad range including a variety of forest types, woodland, riparian woodlands and bush-land in southern and East Africa 41
within Angola, South Africa, Kenya (south), Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania.
The Brown Greater Galago has dense gray or greyish-coloured
coat with variable shading, or a predominately brown or brownish coat. Its head is roundish and the muzzle is short and wide, with big prominent ears, somewhat small eyes and a long tail.
The eyes are forward pointing. Sexual dimorphism is quite apparent. Weight range is 2 lbs. to 4.5 lbs.
Brown Greater Galago nocturnal, arboreal and predominately quadruped. They are fully aware and attuned to the surroundings and are quite agile.
Brown Greater Galago groups tend to be small not exceeding 6 or 7 individuals. Urine marking and vocalization are important behaviours.
The Brown Greater Galago is monogamous and polygynous. The level of mating depends on availability. Males are very territorial but generally have territories that overlap with 2
or more females. Furthermore, males’ territories are larger than females’. Sleeping generally occurs in tree holes or in thick vegetation.
Brown Greater Galago females usually give birth to twins or
triplets following a gestation period of 4.5 months. Females nest their infants in a safe place while foraging. This species can live to just over 20 years in captivity. Data pertaining to lifespan in the wild is deficient.
Brown Greater Galago eats fruits, seeds, gum, flowers,
slugs, insects, small reptiles and small birds. Dangers include habitat loss and agricultural expansion. This species inhabits a broad range. At present, these dangers do not pose an imminent danger to the species’ survival. The IUCN has listed the Brown Greater Galago as Least Concern.
The Senegal Bushbaby SBB inhabits a broad range in
woodlands, savannahs and bush-lands south of the Sahara in Africa.
The Senegal Bushbaby coat contains long, dense fluffy hair that is gray tinged with silver. The eyes are ears are noticeably large. This Bushbaby species has the remarkable ability to flex and move various parts of their prominent ears.
The hands and feet are well padded aiding in leaping and climbing and the legs are well muscled. A ‘second tongue’ is used as a tooth comb. Maximum weight is 11 oz.
The Senegal Bushbaby is nocturnal and arboreal, travelling through the forest by climbing and leaping. Group sizes are small, tending not to exceed 6 individuals. Sleeping is done in small groups in tree holes or in dense vegetation. However, foraging tends to be done alone. Males’ territories tend to be larger