Black-and-white colobus monkey
Black-and-white colobus monkey
The black and white colobus monkeys found in East Africa are magnificent forest animals that are easy to recognize once they have been sighted. 

Eastern Black and white Colobus-colobus guereza monkeys have a U-shaped cape of long white hair extends from shoulders and meet across the lower back. The beautiful black fur of a colubus strongly contrasts to the long white mantle, whiskers and beard around the face "Oldman faced"and the bushy white "horsetail." This type is the one that is found in Kibale forest in Uganda.

Angolan Black and white Colobus-Colobus angolensis has long white whiskers begin at temples and sorround face; forehead black. Coat glossy and black, with long white epaulets. Tail usually black and short-haired for half to two-thirds of its length, white towards the end. This is the type that you will find in Nyungwe forests in Rwanda.

These monkeys are difficult to observe as they normally spend their time high up in trees. Some 115 to 130 feet above the ground, they blend in well with their surroundings. They are the most arboreal of all African monkeys and rarely descend to the ground. Traveling among the trees, the monkeys use branches as trampolines, jumping up and down on them to get liftoff for leaps of up to 50 feet. They rise up and then drop downward, falling with outstretched arms and legs until they reach another branch. Their mantle hair and tails are believed to act as a parachute during these long leaps.

Black and white colobus live in troops (probably made up of smaller family groups) that commonly number up to 25 individuals, though in Rwanda troops as large as 200 are known. Their home ranges are clearly defined, and their size is influenced by the number of monkeys in the troop, the abundance of food(leaves, fruits, insects) and the level of fighting with neighboring troops. The monkeys make croaking and rattling vocal sounds to help mark their territories.

A strong male acts as the lead animal; it threatens enemies(leapard, Eagles, chimpanzee, human) and if necessary covers the retreat of the troop. A true ranking order does not seem to exist

Source of information:Collins Guide to African Wildlife and African Wildlife Foundation Website

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