Well it’s Issue 28 and we've finally got to the requests once again. Last week the Red Legged Seriema AKA Nemesis Bird to Laflux stalked into the spotlight. This week we have a request from said @laflux as we head to the African Savannah for the first time in Impurest’s Guide to Animals
Issue #28 - Patas Monkey
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia
Order – Primates
Family – Cercopithecidae
Genus – Erythocebus
Species – patas
Related Species - The Patas Monkey is the only member of the genus Erythocebus although recent genetic studies suggest it might be closely related to the Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) (1)
The Military Monkey
Patas Monkeys are red furred large ground dwelling monkeys that live in large single sex groups (except during the breeding season) of up to sixty individuals. Throughout their range the Patas Monkey’s inhabits open territory such as mountain steppe and wooded savannah, and as such have evolved for a life on the ground. This is evident when the species runs, with males reaching a top recorded speed of 35mph, making them the fastest running primate species in the world.
Despite their size Patas Monkey’s feed primarily on seeds, tubers, fruit and tree gum although they will eat insects and small vertebrates as well (2). Due to group structure, adult males often spot danger first and act as decoys to confuse predators while the females and infants escape. Natural enemies include Leopards (Panthera paradus), both the Crowned (Stephanoaetus coronatus) and Martial Eagles (Polemaetus bellicosus) and Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) although all three groups have more preferred, easier to catch prey species. Against smaller predators the Males band together and will chase or even kill the attacker if it is unable to escape them.
During the breeding season Female Patas Monkey tribes invite males temporarily into the group. Once breeding is complete the males reform their bachelor groups on the edge of the larger female tribe but have little contact with their mates after that. The facial markings of the female Patas Monkey changes when she is pregnant, loosing the dark marks and becoming much paler. Young males leave the maternal group at the age of four, although unlike other primates this isn't associated with an increase of aggressive behaviour (3).
Five Fun Patas Monkey Facts
The word Patas means Animal Leg in Spannish, with the name referring to the long legs of this particular species of monkey
Patas Monkeys are known as Military Monkeys due to their similar appearance to Colonial British Redcoat Soldiers
Patas Monkeys have a range of different alarm calls to warn members of their tribe of different predators
When excited the Patas Monkey jumps up and down earning it the nickname ‘the Jumping Monkey’
Patas Monkey’s will never sleep in the same place twice, the females are nomadic with the matriarch leading her tribe of females and infants around and a screen of defensive males following them as protection
1 - www.arkive.org
2 - Isbell, L.A. (1998). "Diet for a small primate: insectivory and gummivory in the (large) patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas)". American Journal of Primatology45 (4): 381–98
3 - Hall, K. R. L. (July 8, 1965). "Behaviour and ecology of the wild Patas monkey, Erythrocebus patas, in Uganda". Journal of Zoology (The Zoological Society of London) 148 (1):
1 - https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5238/5831967496_fa81db8c60_z.jpg
2 - http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/fs/sheets/maps/erythrocebus_patas_range_large.gif
3 - http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/4B/4BB75A3B-6C05-4EE8-A76F-1F4485785BC3/Presentation.Large/Patas-monkey-feeding-on-acacia-seeds.jpg
4 - http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/fs/sheets/images/390med.jpg
Thanks for reading guys; I hope you enjoyed the exploration into the perplexing Patas Monkey. Next week we have a request from @scorpion2501 with those of @darthaznable and @dboyrules2011 in the following fortnight. As usual drop off some comments and check out past issues in Impurest’s Bestiary.