Wild Fact #721 – When Monkey’s Get Grounded – Patas Monkey

Female Patas Monkey. Photo by Rasfaya

Luckily the internet in the Yukon is back up and running.  I was seriously pulling my hair out trying to post yesterday’s Wild Fact from my Blackberry. I wanted to end the week with a fun and entertaining Wild Fact.  And let’s face it, what is more fun and entertaining than a monkey? So today we are going to the Savannah’s of Africa to learn about the Patas Monkey.  What are you waiting for? Grab your running shoes and let’s hit the semi-arid areas of Western Africa (and a portion of East Africa 🙂 ).

I really hope you brought your good running shoes for this trip because you will definitely need them.  The Patas Monkey can reach speeds up to 55 km/hr (34 mph) which makes them the fastest primate around.  Yes, that is even faster than Usain Bolt who’s top speed was around 44 km/hr (27 mph).  So why are we not entering Patas Monkey’s into the summer Olympics? Oh right, they are monkeys.  As you may have guessed by now these are not your typical branch swinging, tree living monkey’s that we are use to.  Nope they prefer to live on the ground in more open areas.  Obviously this allows them to escape predators by running away without the fear of hitting 28 trees on their escape route.

Although they don’t hang out in the trees, the Patas Monkey does share the social life of other monkey species.  Usually the Patas can be found living in a troop of about 10 individuals.  The troop will consist of one male with the remainder of the family being females and their young.  Normally when a male reaches 5 years of age he will leave home and find a new troop.  I wonder if they get the same feeling that you had as you drove away from your sons college campus.  You know the one, right?  The dad is grinning ear to ear while the mother is crying all the way home.

Infant Patas Monkey - Wikimedia

The Patas Monkey likes to be different so unlike other monkey troops the female is the leader of their troop.  Let’s face it, she probably is in the other monkey troops as well but just let’s the male think he is leading.  The females in the Patas troop are often seen fighting with other troop leaders while the male just hangs back without a care in the world.  Like a good husband though he will spring to life when a predator is on the scene.  He will put down his beer and stop watching the football game long enough to try and intimidate the oncoming attacker.  He does this be making loud sounds as he slowly walks away from the rest of his troop.  Once the predator follows him the female and babies will run away closely followed by the brave male (which is probably closely followed by a cheetah or a hyena).

Patas Monkey Fast Fact – The Patas Monkey just happens to be the one of the worlds most thriving primate species.  I am guessing that humans are also on the list of thriving primates but who knows.  The Patas are able to thrive since they live in open grasslands so they don’t have to worry about habitat destruction as much as their tree loving friends.

Before you head out to enjoy your weekend I recommend you check out the short video clip on the Patas Monkey.  It is a pretty interesting video although it does have a very short mating scene towards the end so get ready to cover the young ones eyes.  Have a great weekend folks!

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