A blue monkey or diamid monkey (Sarcopithecus mitis) is a species of Old World monkeys native to Central and East Africa, extending from the African Congo River basin to the East African shift and south to northern Angola and Zambia. It sometimes includes Sykes, Silver and Gold Monkeys as subspecies.
Many times some of these were considered complete species and additional subspecies were considered valid, others were not recognized by all authorities.
Blue Monkey Description
Despite its name, the blue monkey is not noticeably blue; It has a little hair on its face and it sometimes gives a blue look but for example it never has a blue appearance on a mandrill. It is mainly olive or gray on the outside of the mouth (which is pale with a pale or yellowish patches on the forehead – this is the “diadem” from which the common name of the species is obtained), the black cap, legs and front legs, and the presenter, which are brown, olive or gray. It depends on the sub-species. Typical sizes range from 50 to 65 cm (the tail, which is not nearly as long as the animal’s), with men weighing up to 8 kg, weighing 4 kg.
The blue monkey is found in evergreen forests and monte bamboo forests and lives mainly in forest encampments, rarely coming to the ground. It is very dependent on the moist, shaded areas containing a large amount of water. It basically eats fruit and leaves but will take some slow-moving invertebrates. It prefers to live on tall trees, which provide both food and shelter, and so like almost all giants, it suffers from the loss of its natural habitat. Where pine seedlings replace natural forests, monkeys may be considered a threat by forest dwellers, as they sometimes bark from exotic trees in search of food or moisture. It is also hunted for bushmeat.
Blue monkeys live in female-filopatric social systems where females are in their natal group and disperse when males reach puberty, the group of blue monkeys usually consists of several males and females, which give rise to matrilinear societies. Occasionally isolated men are observed, which are likely transient, leaving their birth group in search of a new group.
In these female-bonded societies, only 5–15% of the monkey’s activity budget is occupied by social interaction, and the most common social interaction within a group is grooming and playing. Relationships among group members differ: Children interact more frequently with their older and adult or adolescent women, and are rarely seen in adult men.
Alloparenting is common among blue monkeys. The most common baby handlers are teenage women and usually one child carries a large amount of alloparent. A hypothesis is that it allows the child to learn socialization in the early stages of life.
Interesting female-female relationships exist between the blue monkeys. This relationship is believed to be shaped by their feeding ecology, which in turn leads to competition between groups and groups. Blue monkey females show strong, aggressive competition between the group and other species due to their territorial character, but there is more frequent competition between the groups, although softer.
Although previous beliefs were that blue monkeys are not territorial, more current expanded research shows that previous researchers misinterpreted the results because overall social interactions are very low. Furthermore, the overall aggression rate in blue monkeys is very low. Conflicts between groups are mild and rare as women distance themselves from each other and feed on different sites to avoid competition. Although blue monkeys were considered egalitarian, current extended research confirms that linear dominance classification occurs in female blue monkeys, which is even more pronounced when food resources are lacking.
For additional protection, Sarcopithecus mitis joins C. ascanius (red-legged monkey). Their social system is largely female because men leave after they become mature. Men rarely have any contact with younger people. C. mitosis is very regional, so young men have to move quickly to help them become more successful. They challenge the dominant men of another family. If they defeat dominant men, they take the leadership of that family and it provides a place for young men to live, socialize and provide food. “Si Mitis is considered a go-to.
The mating system is polygamous, with size-related sex dimorphism, males having enough sex. During warm, monsoon starts, females usually give birth every two years; Pregnancy is about five months, and babies are born with fur and their eyes open.
Group sizes range from 10 to 40, including only single adult males, it is often seen in groups with other species of monkeys, such as red-legged monkeys and various red colobus monkeys.
C. mititis men mate with multiple females, whereas females mate with only males. The woman attracts men to accompany her through body language. They breed throughout the year. “These groups can have up to 5 members, and women usually take care of everyone, not just them.”
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Blue monkeys eat fruits, figs, insects, leaves, stems and flowers. “They are mainly freezers, with 5% of the fruits in their diet, and leaves and insects as their main source of protein and the rest of the diet is made up of seeds, flowers and fungi.
They rarely eat vertebrates. They eat a variety of plants but focus on a few species which means that their population density generally depends on the ness acuity and diversity of the plant species. “