Ursine Colobus

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Cercopithecidae Colobus Colobus vellerosus
IUCN Status: Critically-Endangered
  • Common Name: Ursine Colobus
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1834
  • Monkey Size: 61 to 66 cm (24 to 26 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Black
  • Habitat: Savanna or grassland, forest, rainforest
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Native Countries: Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso

Ursine Colobus Distribution

Ursine Colobus Characteristics

The white-thighed colobus[1] (Colobus vellerosus), also known as ursine colobus, white-thighed black-and-white colobus, and Geoffroy’s black-and-white colobus, is a species of primate in the Cercopithecidae family.

  • It is found in Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, and southern Burkina Faso. Its natural habitat is tropical or subtropical moist lowland forests.
  • White-thighed colobus monkeys have muscular bodies covered in long, glossy black fur except for their silvery thighs.
  • Their black faces are elongated with two prominent eyes, a flat nose, and thin black lips. Black ears rest on its head.
  • White hair frames the face, making this monkey look like a sage. The white fur band over the eyes is shaped differently in each monkey. It is a helpful feature for identifying individuals in a group.
  • Its hands are perfectly articulated, with an underdeveloped thumb, long fingers, and shiny black nails. Their feet have long toes and an opposable “big toe“.
  • Rump calluses are common in white-thighed colobus monkeys and provide a cushion for perching on hard branches.
  • Its long, slightly bushy white tail is helpful for balance in trees. Babies are born entirely white except for the face, ears, and fingers. They switch to adult coloring after 3 to 4 months.

What Eats Ursine Colobus?

What Eats Ursine Colobus Monkeys Lion?

According to the African Journal of ecology[§], Lions (Panthera leo) and Leopards (Panthera pardus) are the primary predators of Ursine Colobus monkeys in the wild.

Ursine Colobus Facts

  • White-thighed colobus monkeys are diurnal and primarily arboreal (although they may occasionally move on the ground between foraging areas on the savannah).
  • They use different roosting sites each night, some near feeding sites. They can be nests made out of leaves, holes, or branches in a tree, usually selected where there is less risk of predators.
  • It seems that adult women spend more time grooming themselves than adult men. However, neither females nor males are very affectionate.
  • White-thighed colobus monkeys live in groups that vary significantly in size, from 5 or 7 to more than 30 individuals. These groups can be mixed (several males and several females), solitary males (one male and several females and juveniles), or all males.
  • Adult male white-thighed colobus monkeys use loud roars to call their territory and location. The roar can be multiple times and in concert with other groups, especially in the mornings.

Suggested Reading: Types of Monkeys

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2023, November 28). Ursine Colobus. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/ursine-colobus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Ursine Colobus" Bio Explorer, 28 November 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/ursine-colobus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Ursine Colobus" Bio Explorer, November 28 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/ursine-colobus/.
Key References
  • [1]“White-Thighed Colobus, Colobus vellerosus | New England Primate Conservancy”. Accessed November 26, 2022. Link.
  • [§] – Middleton, O.S, Svensson, H, Scharlemann, J.P.W, Faurby, S, Sandom, C.J. CarniDIET 1.0: A database of terrestrial carnivorous mammal diets. Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13296. Craig, Christie A., Eleanor I. Brassine, and Daniel M. Parker. “A record of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) diet in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana.” African Journal of Ecology 55.4 (2017): 697-700.


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