What kinds of monkeys live in Guinea Bissau?
If you visit Guinea Bissau, it’s only natural to ask yourself the above question. I mean, who doesn’t want to see monkeys!?
Luckily, there are quite a few species you should be able to find. So, keep reading to learn how to identify each monkey, ape, and primate, and learn some fun and interesting facts. Pictures and range maps are also included!
6 monkey species that live in Guinea Bissau:
- Pan troglodytes
Also known as Chimps.
- On average, adults are 150 cm (59 in) long.
- Their faces, hands, and feet are hairless, and they do not have tails.
- They have shaggy coats of black fur. Gray patches and bald spots may develop as they age.
Although related, Chimpanzees are technically apes, not monkeys.
Chimpanzees have remarkable intelligence and are humans’ closest animal relatives. You’ll see them using altered sticks when probing for insects and honey. They also use rocks and branches to bash open hard-shelled nuts. Occasionally, they even rub insects onto their wounds for medical relief.
This iconic species lives in communities of up to 150 members. Frequently, they split into smaller groups when foraging for food. They mostly eat fruits, though they sometimes prey on warthogs and small monkeys when they are craving meat. Male chimps act as guardians, fighting off males from rival groups to defend their territories.
Chimpanzees are fascinating creatures, but it’s best to observe them from afar. In addition to their sharp teeth and incredible strength, chimps can be wildly unpredictable and aggressive. Several attacks on humans have been recorded, some of which have resulted in death.
Check out this video of the “Top 5” chimpanzee moments caught on camera by BBC Earth.
#2. Patas Monkey
- Erythrocebus patas
Also known as the Wadi Monkey or Hussar Monkey.
- Adults are generally 61-89 cm (24-35 in) long and have 51-76 cm (20-30 in) tails.
- Males are much larger than females.
- White hair frames their dark faces. They have pale coats that grow reddish brown around their backs.
Patas Monkeys aren’t your average monkey in Guinea Bissauthat lives in trees!
Instead, they are ground-dwellers known for their impressive speed. Patas Monkeys are the fastest sprinters among primates, clocking in at 55 km/h (34 mph). They roam savannahs where trees are sparse and widely spaced.
Troops of Patas Monkeys can contain up to 60 members, with only one adult male leading the females and juveniles. At night, they sleep together in trees where predators can’t reach them. Sometimes, they must boldly fight off wildcats and jackals at watering holes!
Since they live in arid habitats, they spend a lot of time finding food and water. These monkeys like to feed on sap leaking out from Acacia tree trunks. Where their territories encroach with human settlements, they’ve acquired a taste for farm crops.
#3. Green Monkey
- Chlorocebus sabaeus
Also known as Sabaeus Monkey.
- Adults have a body length of 30-60 cm (12-24 in). Their gold-tipped tails are 41-76 cm (16-30 in) long.
- They have yellowish hair surrounding their dark faces.
- These monkeys have a tinge of green and gold on their grayish coats. Their undersides are white in contrast.
If you spot a Green Monkey in Guinea Bissau, chances are there are more nearby! A community can harbor up to 80 individuals, often staying near fresh water. They go swimming in rivers to cool down when it gets too hot. These monkeys can survive in habitats such as rainforest outskirts, dry woodlands, and coastal areas.
60% of their waking hours are spent traveling and searching for food. They prefer fruits, seeds, and leaves. As opportunistic predators, Green Monkeys also eat insects, small lizards, crabs, and lungfish. Populations overlapping with urban regions are notorious for stealing food from unwary tourists. Stay vigilant! 🙂
These primates are quite vulnerable, so they’ve developed distinct calls to warn troop mates of predators. For example, barks indicate a leopard sighting, while chirps alert others of a snake slithering around. Green Monkeys are quieter in areas where hunting is prevalent to hide from poachers.
#4. Campbell’s Monkey
- Cercopithecus campbelli
Also known as Campbell’s Mona Monkey.
- Adults are 36-55 cm (14-22 in). Their tails are generally 49-85 (19-33 in) cm long.
- They have a bright yellow patch on the forehead, and their coats are a blend of black, gray, and cream.
Campbell’s Monkeys in Guinea Bissau thrive in coastal savannas, lowland forests, and swamps overgrown with mangroves. Bands of 8-10 individuals spend most of their lives high up in trees. Females have close relationships with other females, while the male that protects the group is more distant.
Campbell’s Monkeys have a wide arsenal of vocalizations to alert each other of danger. Amazingly, they can string together particular sounds to form unique sentences. The male climbs the tallest trees at dusk and dawn to issue a booming call. It’s hard to miss, even from a distance!
Campbell’s Monkeys primarily feed on fruits and insects, though they also supplement their diets with leaves. Sometimes, you’ll find them meticulously looking for bugs inside curled leaves.
#5. King Colobus
- Colobus polykomos
Also known as the Western Black-and-white Colobus.
- Adults are 45-72 cm (18-28 in) long, while their white tails are 52-100 cm (20-39 in).
- Tufts of silver-white hair frame their bare faces, extending down to their chests and shoulders.
- They have jet-black coats of hair.
Unlike most other monkeys in Guinea Bissau, these primates live on the forest floor.
King Colobuses thrive in lowland and mountainous rainforests. Their diets include fruits and flowers, but their favorite food is leaves. Interestingly, some of the leaves they eat are toxic, so they occasionally eat charcoal to detoxify their stomach walls.
A group of King Colobuses contains 1-3 adult males, 3-4 adult females, and their offspring. If you watch them closely, you’ll notice that females share closer relationships with the same sex, while males keep to themselves. They are highly territorial, and rival bands often clash where their homes overlap.
When a group of King Colobuses succeeds in defending its territory, females from the opposing group may switch sides. Naturally, they look for the strongest partners that can offer protection. Unfortunately, this means any of their infants from previous partners will be killed by the males from the new group.
#6. Western Red Colobus
- Piliocolobus badius
Also known as the Rust Red Colobus.
- Adults are 45-67 cm (18-26 in) long. Their tails are 52-80 cm (20-31 in) in length.
- Look for their black brows and reddish beards.
- Their coats are split between reddish brown colors at the front and smokey gray on the back.
These red daredevils navigate through all canopy levels, swinging from branch to branch with outstanding agility. They thrive in dense rainforests far away from civilization. Often, you’ll find Western Red Colobuses near rivers or streams. Groups are made up of 20-90 members and are noticeably noisy.
Curiously, Western Red Colobuses ignore ripe fruits prized by other monkeys. Instead, they seem to have no problem eating unripe fruits! This is because their multi-chambered stomachs are better suited for digesting fibers instead of sugars. Hence, they prefer foraging for unripe fruit, young shoots, and leaves.
These are some of the most aggressively territorial monkeys in Guinea Bissau.
Upon sighting a leopard, a troop member will bellow a long call to rally several males. Together, they’ll try to chase the leopard away from their homes. Chimpanzees are one of the only animals this monkey won’t challenge. Instead, they let out a short, abrupt call, urging the others to climb higher up the canopy to evade them.
For more information about animals in Guinea Bissau, check out these guides:
- 2 COMMON Types of Snakes Found in Guinea Bissau
- 12 Amazing ANIMALS to see in Guinea Bissau! (ID guide w/ pics)
Which of these monkeys in Guinea Bissau is your favorite?
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