Patas Monkey: Fastest Monkey On Land

On December 18, 2015 by Tim Newman

Patas Monkey - Eating Snack

This good looking creature is the patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), also known as the wadi monkey, military monkey, or hussar monkey.

She claims the prize as the fastest monkey on the ground. At top whack, they can reach 55 km/h (34 mph) thanks to their ferociously powerful back legs and stubby little fingers.

They live in sub-Saharan Africa, and are the only species in the genus Erythrocebus. They live on the ground and, usually, in large groups, commonly consisting of 60 females and one male.

The females are in charge, and the male just tags along for the ride.

Any baby male monkeys in the group stay with them until they’re about 4 years old and sexually mature; then they wander off and join a crowd of boys or live as a solitary male until they are strong enough to challenge a hareem leader for his ladies.

Young females tend to stay in the group they are born into.

The male’s main role, outside of breeding season, is to patrol the perimeters and act as a decoy, should a predator appear. They have very little to do with the females unless it’s rumpy-pumpy time.

The social structure of female patas monkeys differs between groups. The differences seem to be dependant on the type and quantity of food available at the time. Their society is not as strictly hierarchical as some monkey groups, but there is still a general pecking order, with grooming as a type of currency.

Patas Monkey - Close Up

As for the males, they either live in a huge group of women, as mentioned above, or they form large bands of males.

The patas mate during the wet season, and, as you can imagine with such an uneven split of females, there is some conflict.

Having said that, because each male with a hareem has so many females, he will sometimes tolerate a male interloper in his throng for a short time.

Patas monkeys have a particularly high reproductive rate compared to other monkeys. Some believe it might be an adaptive response to the relative danger of a life lived on the ground rather than the canopy.

Patas monkeys are ground dwelling, predominantly because they live in places where there are no trees. Even if a predator (normally big cats or wild dogs) is seen and there does happen to be a tree around, they still won’t use it. They would rather run or, as they often do, stand and fight.

The patas monkey feeds on insects, gum, seeds, and tubers, a diet more characteristic of much smaller primates. They’ll also have a go at small lizards and eggs if they get a chance.

Patas monkeys have been less affected by deforestation than other monkeys, because they aren’t fussed about forest coverage.

They are classified as least concern by the IUCN, which is good news for them. Still, the largest threat to the patas is humanity and its urge to poach them and sell them on.

An estimated 1,000 individuals are captured each year. Others are shot by farmers because the patas have been known to strip crops bare if they take a fancy to them.

Patas Monkey - Fastest Runner in Africa

Their countries of residence include Mali, Niger, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda.

They are good looking guys and gals:

Patas Monkey - Sitting on rock Patas Monkey - Military Monkey Patas Monkey - Fastest Runner

Patas Monkey - Proud With Child Patas Monkey - Proud





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