Southern patas monkey

The fastest monkey in the world is also the most endangered monkey in Africa

Southern patas monkey


The fastest monkey in the world is also the most endangered monkey in Africa

Population 100

A remarkable primate species found in the savannas and semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Known for its incredible speed and distinctive physical features, the Southern patas monkey exhibits a range of adaptations that make it well-suited to its unique environment.

One of the most notable characteristics of the Southern patas monkey is its impressive agility and speed. With its long limbs, slim frame, and deep chest, this primate possesses exceptional sprinting abilities, capable of reaching speeds of up to 55 km/h (34 mph). This remarkable speed has earned it the title of the world’s fastest primate, allowing it to swiftly navigate its open grassland habitat and evade potential predators.

Male Southern patas monkeys exhibit several distinguishing traits that set them apart from females. Males typically sport manes and long, white mustaches, adding to their striking appearance. Additionally, male patas monkeys display a more vibrant overall coloration compared to females. Their reddish-gray torsos, white rumps, and white-colored rear limb backs contribute to their distinctive appearance. In contrast, females tend to have a duller coloration, lacking the vibrant hues and prominent facial features observed in males.

In addition to their physical adaptations, Southern patas monkeys also display complex social behaviors within their social groups. These primates typically live in multi-female, multi-male groups, with dominant males overseeing the troop’s activities and protecting the group from potential threats. Within these groups, communication plays a vital role, with individuals utilizing vocalizations, gestures, and body language to convey messages and maintain social cohesion.

Southern patas monkeys are primarily herbivorous, with a diet consisting mainly of fruits, seeds, leaves, and other plant materials. Their foraging behavior is influenced by seasonal availability, with individuals adapting their feeding habits to optimize resource utilization in their arid and semi-arid habitats.


Population est.
Official estimate
Extinct 2015

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Troop

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No