Mona monkeys

Mona monkeys or Cercopithecus Mona is found in southwest Africa. These countries include Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Congo, Angola, Kasai, Gambia, Kwan go and West Uganda. The species was also introduced to Grenada around the late 1600s.

Mona monkey is an arboreal creature and can be found primarily in rainforests, toward the middle and top of the trees. This species is also found in mangrove swamps, gallery forests and woodlands. Rarely, Mona monkeys are seen in farmlands. The territory of a typical group ranges from 5 – 50 acres.

Cercopithecus Mona is a small Old World guenon monkey with a body length of 32 to 53 cm and a long tail of 67 to 90 cm. Individuals are colorful. The dorsal fur is red-brown to brown-agouti. The ventral surface and buttocks are white. The upper half of the face is bluish-gray with a white band on the forehead. Eyebrows are dark, and the snout is pinkish. Around the face, the hair is yellow with a dark stripe running from between the eyes to the ears. The cheeks are greyish-yellow and the lips are white. Other prominent features are the long thick sideburns and white long tufts on the ears. The tail is near black on top with grey underneath. The tail tip is black.

Males are typically large than females, so there is sexual dimorphism in size. Other than size, however, males and females are similar. Males usually weigh around 5 kg whereas females usually weigh around 4kg.

Reproduction is not known about the mating behavior of Mona monkeys. However, since their social organization consists of large predominantly-female groups with very few males, this may suggest that males and females form polygynous bonds.

The gestation period is typically between 5 and 6 months. Only one young is usually born at a time, but twins are also known to occur. A female typically gives birth every two years. Birth usually takes place at night up in a tree. Weaning occurs around one year of age. Sexual maturation occurs anywhere from 2 to 5 years of age.

Mona monkeys are social and active mostly during early morning and late afternoon. They sometimes travel in troupes when moving quickly across trees. They fly across by running to the outer end of a tree branch and leaping a cross another tree branch.

Mona monkeys are omnivorous. Most of their diet consists of fruits. In addition to eating fruit, they may also feed on sprouts, young leaves, and invertebrates. Of all species in the genus Cercopithecus, Mona monkey eats the greatest proportion of insects and least of leaves.

An interesting aspect of the feeding habits of these animals is how they store their food in cheek pouches. The capacity of these pouches is almost as large as that of the stomach. The pouches extend from the lower teeth to both sides of the neck. The cups on the teeth are good for grinding food, which suits the diverse diet of this specie.