Cercopithecinae

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cercopithecinae is a subfamily of Old World monkeys that belongs to the family Cercopithecidae. This subfamily includes a diverse group of primates, commonly known as guenons, which are found in various parts of Africa. With over 70 recognized species, Cercopithecinae is one of the largest primate subfamilies.

Taxonomy[edit | edit source]

Cercopithecinae is classified under the family Cercopithecidae, which also includes the subfamily Colobinae. The subfamily Cercopithecinae is further divided into two tribes: Cercopithecini and Papionini. The Cercopithecini tribe consists of guenons, while the Papionini tribe includes baboons and macaques.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Guenons, or members of the Cercopithecinae subfamily, exhibit a wide range of physical characteristics. They have a slender body with a long tail, which is often used for balance while moving through trees. Their faces are usually adorned with colorful patterns, including cheek whiskers and eyebrow tufts. Guenons also have cheek pouches that allow them to store food for later consumption.

Distribution and Habitat[edit | edit source]

Guenons are primarily found in the tropical rainforests and woodlands of Africa. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, including lowland forests, montane forests, and savannas. Different species of guenons have adapted to various ecological niches, allowing them to thrive in diverse environments across the continent.

Behavior and Social Structure[edit | edit source]

Guenons are highly social animals that live in groups known as troops. These troops can vary in size, ranging from a few individuals to over 50 members. Within a troop, there is a complex social hierarchy, with dominant individuals having priority access to resources and mating opportunities.

Guenons are primarily arboreal, spending most of their time in trees. They are agile climbers and leapers, using their long tails for balance. They are also known for their vocalizations, which play a crucial role in communication within the troop.

Diet[edit | edit source]

The diet of guenons is primarily herbivorous, consisting of fruits, leaves, seeds, and flowers. However, they are opportunistic feeders and may also consume insects, small vertebrates, and bird eggs when available. Their specialized cheek pouches allow them to store food while foraging, enabling them to eat quickly and safely away from potential predators.

Conservation Status[edit | edit source]

Several species of guenons are currently facing threats to their survival. Habitat loss due to deforestation, as well as hunting for bushmeat and the pet trade, are the primary factors contributing to their decline. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed several guenon species as endangered or vulnerable, emphasizing the need for conservation efforts to protect these primates and their habitats.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD