Olive Colobus Monkey (Procolobus verus)

Juveniles of both sexes have perineal organs that mimics the adult female’s sexual swelling (Estes, 1991). It is thought that this functions for the males to keep adult males from evicting them because the adult would think that this may be a female (Estes, 1991). This species has a sacculated stomach to assist in the breakdown of cellulose. The pelage color for this species is olive-brown. The infants of the olive colobus monkey have a little more yellow in their pelage color at birth. The average body mass for an adult male olive colobus monkey is around 4.2 kilograms, and for the female it is around 3.6 kilograms (Fleagle, 1988).

The olive colobus monkey is found in the countries of Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This species lives in the lower levels of the rainforest often near water. The olive colobus monkey likes to live in the undergrowth of the forest.

The olive colobus monkey is primarily a folivorous species, but also eats seeds, flowers, and petioles. This species prefers to forage in the understory and the middle-canopy of the forest. Group sizes range from 10 to 15 individuals. This is a diurnal and arboreal species.

The olive colobus monkey moves through the forest quadrupedally (Fleagle, 1988). This species also is capable of leaping where it uses this in communication and to avoid predators (Estes, 1991).

The olive colobus monkey has a multimale-multifemale social structure. Females carry their infants in their mouth for a few weeks after they are born. The olive colobus monkey is not territorial (Estes, 1991).




social grooming: This is when one individual grooms another and is used to reinforce the bonds between individuals. In this species it occurs more frequently in the presence of another troop (Estes, 1991). Parasites and dead skin is removed with lips and/or tongue (Estes, 1991).

The olive colobus monkey gives birth to a single offspring. During estrus the perineum of the female swells (Hrdy and Whitten, 1987).

presenting: This behavior is performed by the female to elicit copulation from the male; this pattern tells the male that she is ready for copulation (Estes, 1991).

Burton, Frances. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Estes, R.D. 1991. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press.

Fleagle, John G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Hrdy, S.B. and Whitten P.L. 1987. Patterning of Sexual Activity. In Primate Societies. eds. B.B. Smuts, D.L. Cheney, R.M. Seyfarth, R.W. Wrangham, and T.T. Struhsaker. University of Chicago Press.

Last Updated: October 12, 2003.
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