Colobus (Black-and-White) Monkey Facts!

Colobus (Black-and-White) Monkey Facts!

Colobus monkey, Kiambethu, Limuru, Kenya.
Colobus monkey, Kiambethu, Limuru, Kenya. Image credit: ninara cc2.0

Along with its relative, the red colubus, the black-and-white colobus monkey is found in Africa. Infants of the black-and-white genus are born with white fur and pink faces. When they are around a month old they begin to change to their adult coloring — black bodies with white shoulders, beards and backs.

Black and white colobus (Colobus guereza)
Black and white colobus (Colobus guereza) eating at
Philadelphia Zoo. June 30, 2012. By Jim, the Photographer cc2.0

The colobus monkey’s abdomen is adapted in size and shape to digest its meals, and it can digest toxic or mature leaves that other monkeys can’t, aided by a process called bacterial fermentation.

Black and white colobus
Black and white colobus Monkey up in the air. Image credit: NeilsPhotography cc2.0

Another special feature of the colobus monkey is that it does not have thumbs as other monkeys do. Still, it can leap more than 19.7 feet (6 meters) in the air from tree to tree — even a mother with her young hanging from her chest can leap this far.

young black and white colobus
Young black and white colobus. Image credit: AndEggs cc2.0

These monkeys are found in troops of three to fifteen members. They are very protective of their young. Humans hunt the young colubuses for their meat and white fur, and since the other members of the troop will defend their young, sometimes the entire colubus troop can be killed. Today, however, the biggest threat to the colobus monkey is habitat loss.




Old World Monkey

Alternative names: Colubus guereza, Black and white colobus
Where in the world? Africa
Habitat: Coastal, inland and montane forests
Diet: Leaves, fruits, flowers and twigs
Size: 19 to 24 inches long
Weight: 17 to 44 pounds
Average lifespan: 20 to 30 years
Conservation status: Least Concern

Red colobus monkeys are similar to the black and white colobus except for the auburn color on the back of their heads and body. They are very vulnerable to habitat destruction and are known to be hunted by common chimpanzees for food.

The diet of a colobus monkey consists mostly of leaves, which it can digest easily with its special, four-chambered stomach, as well as fruits, preferably those that are unripe, flowers, twigs, bark and soil. Strangely, the mantled guereza, one of the species of colobus monkeys, occasionally likes to eat concrete!

Taken from IP Factly’s 25 Awesome Apes & Monkeys




YouTube video playlist
Details of the videos featured are underneath.
Follow this link for more monkey videos.

The Playlist:

  1. Colobus monkey medicine – BBC
  2. Colobus Crossing by MalFromWales
  3. Zanzibar Red Colobus (Kirk’s Red Colobus) by Johnny Slaughter
  4. “Red Colobus Monkeys” by Pim Niesten by Pim Niesten
  5. Colobus monkey enjoys leaves by YouAre Odzala
  6. Soil eating Black and White Colobus monkey (C. guereza) by Eaffeldt
  7. Soil consumption by female Black and White Colobus monkey (C. guereza) and its offspring by Eaffeldt

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