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The Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis), also known as the Diademed Monkey is a species of primate found in the forests of Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa. Their body length is about 19.8-25.5 in (50-65 cm). The tail is also as long as the body. Males are larger than the females and weigh more. Even though they are called Blue Monkeys, there is no noticeable blue fur on them. They appear olive or grey normally. They have little hair on their dark faces. But they have a patch of pale fur over their eyebrows which earns them the name of Diademed Monkey. They are diurnal and arboreal primates. Their groups consist of one adult male and several females with their respective young. Mating occurs year-round. The young reach sexual maturity at the age of three. It is estimated that Blue Monkeys live up to 20 years of age but it is not confirmed. They are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List but their population is decreasing due to habitat destruction. These monkeys are mostly herbivorous and forage through the forest in search of fruits and leaves. But sometimes they also eat slow invertebrates.
The Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) is a type of Old World primate found in the Eastern and Central forests of Africa.
The Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) belongs to the Mammalia class of the Animalia kingdom. They also belong to the Primates order.
The exact number of Blue Monkeys in the world is unknown. However, they are classified as Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. This means their population is safe and not threatened.
The Blue Monkey is mostly found in Eastern, central, and southern Africa. They are also sometimes seen in the Congo Basin. Their preferred habitat is tropical forest and evergreen forest.
The Blue Monkey is arboreal and diurnal. The Blue Monkey habitat is the evergreen forest and they are rarely seen off of trees. As most of their diet consists of fruits and leaves, they spend their days foraging for food throughout the forest. They also like to live in places with abundant sources of fresh water and a lot of shade. The Cercopithecus Mitis likes to live in tall trees. They provide them with both food and shelter. But this also means that they are suffering from habitat loss from deforestation.
Blue Monkeys are social animals that live in groups. Females stay in their natal groups but males usually leave the group once they reach adulthood. The size of these groups may range from 10-40 monkeys. There are usually one alpha male monkey and several females and young ones in a group. This means they have a matrilineal society with one male as the head of the troop. Takeovers might happen after a fight and usually, the alpha who lost is ousted from the newly formed troop. The alpha also protects them from other males. Some solitary male monkeys can be seen in the wild. These are usually males who recently left the group in search of another. Sometimes these monkeys also cohabitate and form alliances with other monkey species like the Colobus Monkey and the Red-tailed Monkey. This is most likely for added protection against predators. In a group, interactions are limited and mild. They look for food together. They live in a peaceful social structure and only get agitated when attacked by another group.
The exact lifespan of the Cercopithecus mitis in the wild is not known. But research suggests that they live to be about 20 years of age in the wild. They tend to live longer in captivity.
The Blue Monkey has a polygynous mating system. Females usually give birth once every two years but can give birth annually if food is available. Males are the larger sex so it is easy to identify them. Females usually present themselves to the male during the mating season. After the mating, females gestate for about five months and then give birth to one offspring during the late summer or rainy season. The offspring are born with fur and open eyes. Their weaning period lasts for about six months. Males of the species have multiple sexual partners while females usually only have one. This happens because in their social groups there is only one adult male and many females and juveniles. Alloparenting has also been seen in this species. Juvenile females take turns taking care of the young monkeys. This allows the young to learn to socialize with other monkeys and learn their ways. But they usually stay away from adult males, it is the females that carry and take care of the young. Both males and females of the species reach sexual maturity at the age of about three years.
The Blue Monkey or the Diademed Monkey is listed as a Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. This means that their populations are safe in the wild. However, their population trend is decreasing, mostly due to deforestation and habitat destruction.
The Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) is an Old World primate found in Africa. They are pretty small in size. Adults have a body length of about 19.8-25.5 in (50-65 cm). Their tails are almost as long as their bodies. The average weight of Blue Monkey range from 8.8-17.6 lb (4-8 kg). The male monkeys are usually larger than the females. The Blue Monkey is not noticeably blue. They have olive to grey fur all over their body. Their limbs are darker than their bodies. Their faces are dark and they have a patch of pale fur on their foreheads, which earned them the name of the Diademed Monkey. Males have well-developed whiskers. Their canines are also larger than that of the females. They have cheek pouches which they use to carry food while foraging. They have nostrils that are close together and face down. They have opposable thumbs. The young offspring are born with fur. Sometimes the young have rusty fur on their rumps which the adults do not have.
Not much is known about the communication of Blue Monkeys. Mostly because they do not communicate a lot in groups. They are usually quiet but keep a very good atmosphere in a group. Females in a group also cooperate while taking care of the young. Though they might be aggressive towards other groups, they are normally peaceful. Facial expression and body language are also used to communicate. Between mating adults and between mother and her young. Monkeys belonging to the same group rarely fight with each other and sometimes also form alliances with other monkey species for protection. Vocalization and grooming are also used to bond in a group.
The average body length of adult Blue Monkeys is about 19.8-25.5 in (50-65 cm). They also have a long tail that is about the same length as their bodies.
The exact speed of these monkeys is not known. However, they are arboreal creatures that move from tree to tree in search of food. We can easily assume that these primates, like many others, are expert climbers and can move through the forest very fast. They also have to move fast to escape from their natural predators.
The average weight of adult Blue Monkeys is about 8.8-17.6 lb (4-8 kg). Males of the species weigh more than females.
There are no specific names for males and females of the species. They are simply called the male Blue Monkeys and female Blue Monkeys.
Like all other primate species, the young of the Blue Monkey is called an infant.
Blue Monkeys are primarily herbivorous animals. They forage through forests to find food. Their diet includes fruits and leaves. But they also infrequently eat some invertebrate animals like bugs, mollusks, and worms. They cannot be called omnivorous because animals are not a part of their main diet. They eat invertebrates and leaves for protein. Their diet also has seeds, fungi, and flowers. Their plant diet can be varied but they like to concentrate on a few species.
The Blue Monkey is not known to be a dangerous creature. They can be territorial but they usually do not have problems within the group. They are also very smart as they are known to form alliances with other primate species to fight off predators.
They are a wild species of monkeys and it is not a good idea to have them as pets. Blue Monkeys feel the most at home in forests and groups. Even though there are some kept in captivity, they are raised in extreme care that normal people will not be able to provide.
There are several subspecies of the Blue Monkey. This includes the Lomami River Blue Monkey, Pluto Monkey, Elgon Blue Monkey, Kolb's Monkey, and Moloney's Blue Monkey. Some other monkeys are also considered to be the subspecies of Blue Monkeys but not all scientists agree upon this. The Golden Monkey, The Silver Monkey, and the Sykes' Monkey also belong to the Cercopithecus genus and are considered by some as subspecies of the Blue Monkey. But the debate is yet to conclude.
The legal status of Blue Monkeys has been an area of much contention. While the fact that the animal is classified as being of the least concern would certainly indicate that it may not be explicitly illegal, it would be prudent to check up on the local area laws for existing legislation on primates.
There have been no instances of Blue Monkey attacking humans. They are protective of their territory and humans are known to attack them for meat.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these spider monkey facts and Diana monkey facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable blue Monkey coloring pages.
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