Crowned Guenon (Cercopithecus pogonias)

This species has cheek pouches to carry food in while it forages. The average body mass for an adult male crowned guenon is around 4.5 kilograms, and for the females it is around 3 kilograms.

The crowned guenon is found in the countries of Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, and Zaire. This species is found in primary rainforest habitats, and prefers to live in the high, open levels of the rainforest (Kingdon, 1980).

The crowned guenon is a frugivorous species, but seeds are also an important part of the diet. This species will also eat arthropods and leaves. Group sizes range from 13 to 18 individuals (Cords, 1987). The crowned guenon is diurnal and arboreal.

The crowned guenon moves through the forest quadrupedally (Fleagle, 1988).

The crowned guenon has a unimale social system with a polygynous mating system. Occasionally males try to over-take the resident male, but this does not always lead to a success. The males disperse from their natal groups in this species.

boom calls: These calls are performed by male crowned guenons (Estes, 1991). This call is low in frequency and is a short tonal call (Estes, 1991). The resonance is enhanced by air sacs to carry the distance further (Gautier and Gautier-Hion, 1977). This is used to communicate territoriality (Estes, 1991).

isolation calls: These are generally given by infant or juvenile crowned guenons, but sometimes they are emitted by adults (Estes, 1991). This call resembles a nasal grunt (Estes, 1991). This call is given when the individuals becomes separated from the troop. (Estes, 1991).

mutual genital sniffing: Two individuals sniffs each others anogenital region at the same time (Estes, 1991). Males perform this behavior upon each other (Estes, 1991).

staring: This display by the crowned guenon is used as a threat display (Estes, 1991). The eyes are fixed on the stimulus and the eyebrows are raised and the scalp is retracted, the facial skin is also stretched by moving the ears back (Estes, 1991). Underneath the eye lids the color is different which contrasts sharply with the surrounding facial color (Estes, 1991)

staring with open mouth: This is the stare accompanied by the mouth being open but the teeth are covered (Estes, 1991). This is a threat expression and often occurs with head-bobbing (Estes, 1991).

head-bobbing: This is used as a threat display by the crowned guenon and head bobs up and down (Estes, 1991). This often occurs with staring with open mouth (Estes, 1991).

fear grimace: The lips are retracted so that the teeth are shown; the teeth are clenched together (Estes, 1991). This display functions as an appeasement signal to reduce aggression in aggressive encounters (Estes, 1991).

yawning: This is where the mouth is opened to reveal the canines, and is performed by the adult male (Estes, 1991). This is used as an expression of tension or as a threat display (Estes, 1991).


The crowned guenon gives birth to a single offspring. Females are the ones who solicit copulation from the male (Estes, 1991).

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

pouting: Females do this during copulation while looking over their shoulder at the male (Estes, 1991). The lower lip is extruded forward while the lips remain closed (Estes, 1991).

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

Cords, M. 1987. Forest Guenons and Patas Monkeys: Male-Male Competition in One-male Groups. In Primate Societies, eds. B.B. Smuts, D.L. Cheney, R.M. Seyfarth, R.W. Wrangham, and T.T. Struhsaker. University of Chicago Press.

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

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

Gautier, J.P. and Gautier-Hion, A. 1977. Communication in Old World Monkeys. In Sebeok 1977.

Kingdon, J.S. 1980 The Role of Visual Signals and Face Patterns in African Forest Monkeys (Guenons) of the Genus Cercopithecus. Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond., Vol.34, 425-475.

Last Updated: October 6, 2003.
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