Colobus monkeys are herbivores native to jungles, swamp forests, and savannas of equatorial Africa. They eat leaves, flowers, fruit, buds, shoots, and seeds. These monkeys are largely arboral, although they often forage on the ground.
The social structure of these monkeys varies with species. In the mantled guereza colobus, for example, the groups are matrilocal and egalitarian for the females. The males compete for access to the females, with one or a group of a few males defending the group as a harem by force. When a group of males is associated with a group, they maintain a strict hierarchy based on aggression. Encounters between groups can often turn violent. In the Ugandan red colobus, on the other hand, the groups are patrilocal. The males maintain strong social bonds while the females have a much looser social structure and wander between bands. there is little aggression between groups, but a strong dominance hierarchy with males dominant over females. In the olive colobus, groups are mixed sex and the males make no attempt to monopolize the females. Olive colobus also form mixed feeding groups with Diana guenons.
Back to Cerceopithicids