Green Monkeys

    Green Monkeys

    Green monkeys, scientifically known as Chlorocebus sabaeus, is a type of Old World monkey found primarily in West Africa, from Senegal to the Volta River. They are a medium-sized primate species, typically weighing between 4 to 8 kilograms, with males usually being larger than females. Green monkeys live in various habitats, including savannas, woodland areas, and forests near bodies of water. They are highly social animals, often forming groups of up to 50 individuals.

    The term “green” in their name can be misleading as these monkeys are not exactly green in color. Their fur combines grey and yellow, but blending these hues often gives off a greenish or olive appearance in certain lights. The vibrant hue can also be influenced by the angle of the light and the structure of the monkey’s fur, which can scatter light to emphasize the green effect.

    Green Monkeys

    Although the green monkey is a prominent example, other monkey species exhibit varying degrees of greenish or olive tint in their coats. Notably, these species belong to the same genus, Chlorocebus, which consists of vervet monkeys. Among them, the following species display a greenish or olive color in their fur:

    • Chlorocebus pygerythrus, also known as the vervet monkey, is typically found in East Africa.
    • Chlorocebus aethiops, the grivet, which is native to the savannas of East Africa.
    • Chlorocebus tantalus, the tantalus monkey, inhabits areas in Central Africa.
    • Chlorocebus djamdjamensis, the Bale Mountains vervet, is an endemic monkey species in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia.
    • Chlorocebus cynosuros – Known as the Malbrouck, native to Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique.
    • Chlorocebus rufoviridis – The red-tailed monkey, often known as the black-cheeked white-nosed monkey, red-tailed guenon, redtail monkey, or Schmidt’s guenon.

    Outside the Chlorocebus genus, other primate species also sometimes exhibit greenish hues in certain light conditions, largely due to the interaction of light with their fur. Some examples include:

    • Alouatta palliata – Known as the mantled howler, a species of howler monkey that has fur which can sometimes look greenish because of yellow and black strands mixed together.
    • Cercopithecus mitis – The blue monkey or diademed monkey is not blue but gets its name from the blueish hue that can be created from the interplay of light on its dark fur, which can sometimes appear olive or green in certain light conditions.
    • Trachypithecus obscurus – Also known as the dusky leaf monkey, spectacled langur, or spectacled leaf monkey. It has greyish fur that can have a greenish tint in certain lighting.

    Remember, these subtle green or olive hues are often a result of the interaction between light and the structure and color of the monkey’s fur, rather than the fur being green in color in the same way that grass or leaves are.

    Allen’s Swamp Monkey

    Species Name: Allenopithecus nigroviridis
    Skin Color(s): Brown, gray and green
    Allen's swamp monkeys are small, stocky monkeys with gray to brown fur and long tails. These highly social primates live in the swamp forests of central Africa, where they mostly spend their time in the trees. It was named after Joel Asaph Allen, an American zoologist.

    Angolan Talapoin

    Species Name: Miopithecus talapoin
    Skin Color(s): Greenish-gray, greenish-yellow, and grayish-white
    Also known as the Southern talapoin, Angolan talapoin is a primate species in the Cercopithecidae family. Tail color varies from grayish-black to brownish-black above and is yellow or yellowish-gray below. The Angolan talapoin monkeys are among the smallest species of Old-World monkeys.

    Bale Monkey

    Species Name: Chlorocebus djamdjamensis
    Skin Color(s): Dark brown
    The Bale monkey, also called the Bale Mountain Vervet, is an endangered, forest-dwelling arboreal primate restricted to a small range in the southern highlands of Ethiopia. The bale monkey depends primarily on a single species of bamboo (Arundinaria Alpina) and favors a bamboo forest habitat. These African primates feature small round heads, and their bodies are covered with a layer of dark-brown fur.

    Blue Monkey

    Species Name: Cercopithecus mitis
    Skin Color(s): Olive or gray
    The blue monkey is a species of Old-World monkey endemic to east and central Africa, ranging from the upper Congo Basin east to the East African Rift Valley and south to Zambia and northern Angola.

    Gabon Talapoin

    Species Name: Miopithecus ogouensis
    Skin Color(s): Greenish-gray
    The Gabon talapoin, also called the northern talapoin, is a small species of African primate endemic to riverine habitats in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the far western Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the western Republic of the Congo.

    Green Monkey

    Species Name: Chlorocebus sabaeus
    Skin Color(s): Golden-green
    The green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus), also called the sabaeus monkey, is an Old World monkey with golden-green fur, pale feet, and hands. Green monkeys' locomotion varies little, regardless of substrate or habitat. In nearly all circumstances, they move quadrupedally in the treetops or on the ground.

    Grivet Monkey

    Species Name: Chlorocebus aethiops
    Skin Color(s): Olive
    The Grivet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops) is an Old World monkey with long tufts of white fur on the sides of its face. Grivet monkeys are very social animals. They travel in small groups and are among the few species to have groups with multiple males.

    Hamlyn’s Monkey

    Species Name: Cercopithecus hamlyni
    Skin Color(s): Olive gray and black
    The Hamlyn's monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni), also called the owl-faced monkey, is an Old World monkey inhabiting the Congo's bamboo and primary rain forests. Hamlyn's monkeys have unique feet and hands in elongated phalanges.

    Lesser Spotted-Nosed Monkey

    Species Name: Cercopithecus petaurista
    Skin Color(s): Olive green
    The lesser spotted-nosed monkey, lesser spotted monkey, or lesser white-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista) is a primate species in the Cercopithecidae family. The lesser spotted-nosed monkey is diurnal, arboreal, and cryptic.


    Species Name: Chlorocebus cynosuros
    Skin Color(s): Olive-gray
    The Malbrouck (Chlorocebus cynosuros) is an Old-World primate from Africa that belongs to the Chlorocebus genus. The species is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the green monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) or the common grivet (Chlorocebus aethiops).


    Species Name: Mandrillus sphinx
    Skin Color(s): Olive green
    The mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) is a primate of the Old-World monkey family (Cercopithecidae). It is among the two species in the Mandrillus genus and drill. Groups of mandrills can vary from a few individuals to 50 individuals.

    Mona Monkey

    Species Name: Cercopithecus mona
    Skin Color(s): Red-brown to brown-agouti
    The Mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona) is an Old World monkey living between Cameroon and Ghana in West Africa. Mona monkeys live in large groups of 5 to 50 individuals.

    Olive Baboon

    Species Name: Papio anubis
    Skin Color(s): Olive
    The Olive baboon (Papio anubis), also called the Anubis baboon, is a species of the Cercopithecidae family of Old-World monkeys. The name comes from the Egyptian god Anubis.

    Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey

    Species Name: Cercopithecus ascanius
    Skin Color(s): Black, red, or orange
    The Schmidt's red-tailed monkey, also called the red-tailed guenon, Schmidt's guenon, or black-cheeked white-nosed monkey is a primate species in the Cercopithecidae family. The Schmidt's red-tailed monkey is named for its red coloration on the underside of its tail, as well as the bicolor coloration of its tail as the reddish color increases from the base to the tip.

    Tantalus Monkey

    Species Name: Chlorocebus tantalus
    Skin Color(s): Yellowish brown
    The tantalus monkey (Chlorocebus tantalus) is an Old World monkey endemic to Africa, ranging from Ghana to Sudan. It was initially described as a subspecies of Grivet (Chlorocebus aethiops). Tantalus monkeys are very similar to vervet monkeys but are smaller in size.

    Toque Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca sinica
    Skin Color(s): Golden or orange-brown to yellowish or Olive
    The toque macaque (Macaca sinica) is a red-brown Old World monkey endemic to Sri Lanka, known as the rilewa or rilawa. Its common name refers to the strand of hair on its head that resembles a brimless hat.

    These monkeys and their similar colorations are an adaptation to their respective environments, providing camouflage against predators. They exhibit great diversity and are important study subjects in fields like social behavior, ecology, and evolutionary biology.


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