Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas)

Patas Monkey in Pendjari National Park

Patas Monkey in Pendjari National Park

The Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas) is a medium-sized primate occurring in a belt from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia and Tanzania in the east. The animals feed mostly on grass, fruits, and seeds, while insects, eggs, or smaller vertebrates take a second place. Patas Monkeys inhabit open savannahs and avoid denser forests. They are active mainly on the ground, climbing on trees only to get an overview or during the nights. Their ground-dwelling behaviour, however, makes them easier prey for all larger African carnivores leading to a high adult mortality. Even under attack, most Patas Monkeys will flee running on the ground instead of climbing on trees. Defensive behaviour, such as individuals or whole groups turning on the predator, has been observed only rarely. Nevertheless, the monkey has one thing counting for it: with a running speed of up to 55 km/h, it is the fastest of all primates. This is also the reason, why the species is sometimes called the Hussar Monkey – refering to the famous cavalry regiments. Furthermore, their higher adult mortality is balanced by an equally higher reproductivity rate…

I have photographed these interesting primates on a trip through the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin in February 2012.

Patas Monkey

Patas Monkey

Patas Monkey

Patas Monkey

5 responses to “Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas)

  1. Pingback: West Africa 2012 (part I) | wild life·

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