Vervet Monkey - Social African Primate
There are many races of the medium-large-sized vervet monkey, which vary in their facial markings and whiskers. Generally, however, they have black faces with white whiskers and grayish or yellow-olive hair. Males average about 12 lbs (5.5 kg) and females average about 9 lbs (4 kg). Although they sleep and take refuge in trees, these adaptable monkeys forage in open country and will run some distance on the ground. They also climb, jump and swim well. They live in southeastern Africa from Ethiopia south to the coast of South Africa, preferring savanna and the edges of woodlands.
Family troops of an old male and several females and young live together and may join with other troops during the day. Within troops their are some complex social interactions for example females compete for the rights to groom the highest ranking females. Scientists have fun studying their sometimes very human-like traits. Generally they are rather quiet monkeys, but males can shout out harsh cries at times, and others may scream when frightened. Mainly vegetarian animals, they feed on leaves, shoots, fruit, flowers, seeds and bark but also eat some insects, spiders, lizards, bird's eggs and young birds.
Breeding occurs at any time of year. The female gives birth to a single young after a gestation of 175 to 200 days and suckles it for about 6 months. For the first few weeks, the baby clings to its mother's belly but starts to leave her at 3 weeks and to climb at 4 weeks old. When males become sexually mature, their scrotums turn blue-green in color.