Erythrocebus – Patas Monkeys

Family of the fastest monkeys

A fascinating species of primate native to the grasslands and scrub habitats of West and Central Africa, extending southeastward to the Serengeti plains. These long-limbed monkeys are primarily ground-dwelling, although they may occasionally climb trees to forage for food or seek shelter.

Adult male patas monkeys are easily distinguished by their striking appearance, characterized by shaggy hair highlighted with a white mustache and white underparts. Their physique is often compared to that of a greyhound, with a lean and athletic build optimized for terrestrial locomotion. In contrast, adult females exhibit a similar but less conspicuous pattern and structure, with their tails measuring between 50 and 70 cm (20 and 28 inches) in length.

Patas monkeys are omnivorous, meaning they consume a wide variety of foods, including fruits, seeds, leaves, insects, and occasionally small vertebrates. Their versatile diet enables them to thrive in diverse habitats, ranging from open grasslands to wooded savannas.

These primates are predominantly quadrupedal, meaning they move on all fours, using their long limbs to cover ground quickly and efficiently. They are well-adapted for life on the ground, with their agile bodies and keen senses allowing them to navigate their environment with ease.

Patas monkeys are highly social animals, typically living in groups composed of one dominant male, multiple females, and their offspring. Within these groups, social hierarchies are established, with the dominant female often taking the lead in foraging and decision-making, while the male plays a protective role, ensuring the safety and cohesion of the group.

Communication within patas monkey groups is facilitated through a combination of vocalizations, gestures, and body language. These primates have a diverse repertoire of vocalizations, ranging from alarm calls to territorial displays, which help them coordinate group activities and maintain social bonds.