The Black and White Colobus Monkey
The Black and White colobus monkey is noted to be belonging to Colobinae Sub family and features four (4) various Species which include the Angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), guereza (Colobus guereza), satanic black colobus (Colobus satanas) and Guinea forest black colobus (Colobus polykomos) and is spread in the tropical forests of Africa including Uganda where it is always encountered on Uganda safaris and tours.
They derive the name colobus from a Greek word that means docked. This is because they do not possess the thumb but just a small stub standing in the position where the thumb would be.
It is a form of adaptation that allows the colobus monkeys to walk quadripedally on tip of the tree branches easily as can be seen on safari in Uganda
Besides the absence of the thumb, the colobus feature impressive fur spread in form of long white mantle, bushy tails, whiskers and the beard around the face.
The Eastern black-and-white feature a distinct is U-shaped cape of white hair that runs from the shoulders to the lower back while the Angolan Colobus feature white hairs that flare out at the shoulders only.
The colobus monkeys are 15 – 30lb in weight and up to 30 inches in length can thrive up to twenty (20) years in captivity with a gestation period of about six (6) months.
The Black and white colobus monkeys are noted to be herbivores Species that consume leaves, flowers, fruits and the twigs. It can be noted that the Colobus Monkeys feature the capacity to consume toxic foliage.
The colobus monkeys are dominant leaf eaters and would take a lot of their time in the top of the trees preferring to consume young tender leaves that thrive there.
Interestingly, the Black and White Colobus Monkeys feature complex stomachs that allow them to consume toxic or mature foliage that the other Monkeys can hardly take.
The stomachs of Colobus Monkeys are similar to those of cows with 3 or 4 digestive regions where the upper region is bigger and differentiated from the lower acid region.
The upper region which is sacculated and bacterial micro flora allows the monkeys to digest considerable amount of leafy material.
The Colobus Monkey is noted to be most arboreal of all African monkeys. The Colobus also rarely steps on ground as it keeps on jumping from one branch to the other and can leap up to 50 feet where they leap up and then drop down ward spreading with outstretched legs and arms to get hold of the next branch.
It can be noted that their mantle hair and the tail operate as parachute in these long leaps.
The Colobus Monkeys are noted to be living in groups of five (5) – ten (10) animals comprising of a dominant male, a range of females along with their young ones.
The every group has its own territory that is restricted from other groups. However, despite of this territorial nature, fighting for the mates hardly takes place.
The infants are taken care of by all members of the group. It can be noted that the Colobus Monkeys feature no distinct season for breeding though the mating always takes place in the wet season.
The female colobus gives birth after twenty (20) months on the average. The newly born colobus features a pink face and the body is covered by white fur.
The infant starts to change color at one month of age and gains the black and white coloration at around three (3) months.
The infant is carried on the abdomen of the mother clinging to its fur. It spends much time playing with the mother and less to other adults as it grows up.
It is always handled about 3 – 5 times in one hour during the resting groups. It start playing with other Juveniles at seven (7) months and the games include body exercising along with wrestling matches and the mock displays.
Regarding the habitat, the Black and white colobus can thrive in a range of habitats that range from primary to secondary deciduous forests, lowland swamp, the montane forest, gallery forest, moist savannah and coastal forest.
They are known to be thriving only on the African continent in the forests od sub-Sahara. In Uganda, the Black and White Colobus Monkeys are greatly spread in Kibale National Park which is also an ideal destination for Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda.
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