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Mammals of Southern Africa

Large Mammals   Smaller Mammals 

The "Big 5": Lion LeopardElephant Buffalo Rhino

A Guide to the: Vervet Monkey - Ceropithecus aethiops


The Vervet Monkey is an exciteable, energetic animal that is commonly found in wooded areas, in both nature reserves and near human settlements. They are diurnal and gregarious, living together in troops of 15 - 20 animals, which are dominated by a mature male. Like baboons, they have a highly developed social structure, although their hierarchy is slightly more flexible than that of baboons. Authority is maintained with aggressive threats. The desire to groom and be groomed has a duel function, as it rids the monkeys of parasites, and is also an important factor in troop cohesion. Grooming usually takes place mid-morning after the first feeding session, when individuals are resting in the sun.

The Vervet Monkey males defend the troop while the females tend to their young. The females are extremely maternal, and have been known to adopt young from other troops; a bereaved mother will often keep the body of her infant with her for several days. Vervets sleep together in groups of two or three in rock crevices or on the branches of trees. They are agile climbers and forage constantly in trees in search of food. Vervet Monkeys are mostly herbivorous and eat fruit, flowers, seeds and leaves, although they will also eat spiders, grubs and locusts. Their chattering changes to loud coughing and agitated screaming when alarmed. There is no fixed mating season, and usually a single young is born (rarely twins).

More facts about Vervet Monkeys

WHERE FOUND:
Kruger National Park
(South Africa)
Pilanesberg National Park (South Africa)
Mountain Zebra National Park
Addo Elephant National Park
Augrabies Falls National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
Tembe Elephant Park

 

  
Learn more about the mammal species of Southern Africa with Wildlife Campus. This includes in-depth information about habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...
 

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