Facts about the Primates in Southern Africa

Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)

Despite the fact that they tends to reach sexual maturity after several years in the wild, sex tends to occur much earlier at an average age of two years old.They are well adjusted to their surrounding environments , as they can jump and climb well when in the trees and are very fast on the ground as well as being excellent swimmers.Younger women of the troops that are not yet mature ,often show a sweet interest in the offspring of adult females and help with grooming and caring for their young.It is also known that love to keep them , so it’s not surprising that social bonds within the troop particularly among relatives , often last for life. 


Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus)

The word “chacma” is derived from the Hottentot (Khoikhoi) name for baboon, viz choachamma or choa kamma.

Chacma baboons are largely omnivorous and are common in savannah woodland, steppes and sub-desert, montane regions (e.g. Drakensberg Mountains), Cape Fynbos and Succulent Karoo areas of southern Africa. Chacma baboons are terrestrial and diurnal, meaning that they spend most of their daylight hours foraging on the ground and in the trees, and at night they sleep in trees or on cliffs where they are safe from predators. They walk on all four legs with their tails held in an arch.


Blue (Samango) Monkey (Cercopithecus albogularis)

How Blue is the Blue Monkey?
The short answer to this obvious question is “No”. The Blue Monkey is not noticeably blue, however, they have little hair on their face and this does occasionally give them a bluish appearance. For the most part the Blue Monkey is actually an olive or grey colour, except for the face which is typically dark with a yellowish patch on their forehead. Perhaps they should be called the “Yellowish, Olive/Grey Monkey”. Sure it doesn’t sound that great but at least it would be more accurate.


Southern lesser bushbaby / galago (Galago moholi)

The Bushbabies or Galagos of Africa are of the smallest primates on the continent and, although fairly common, are not easily seen due to their nocturnal behaviour. They are more often heard than seen, with their baby-like cries piercing the night. Bushbabies are primates, but they are not monkeys. Along with lemurs, pottos and lorises, they form the primate suborder of prosimians or “pre-monkeys”. Many African tribes are superstitious about this little primate – its laughing, chattering sounds are attributed to a mysterious giant snake with a feathered head, arrayed in rainbow colours, which kills evil intruders by pecking a neat hole in their head! 

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