Born with white fur
The black-and-white guereza lives in Central Africa. Its young are born with white fur. As they grow older and bigger, their body hair darkens and long white hairs start to grow around the face, on both sides of the back and on the tail.
Each group includes several related females, their offspring and an adult male. The oldest females usually take charge of activities such as looking for food, travelling, grooming and resting. They are skilled at climbing trees, and can jump ten metres from one tree to another.
About the guerezaScientific name:
8 kg for females and up to 14 kg for malesSexual maturity:
1 yearBreeding season:
All year roundGestation:
158 daysNumber of young:
Up to 30 yearsEats:
With its beautiful black and white fur and its long tail, the guereza was once a sought-after game animal and was hunted ruthlessly. It is now protected.
The guereza’s diet consists mostly of leaves, as well as fruit. Since leaves have few nutrients, it needs to eat large amounts of leaves and other plants every day to ensure sufficient nutrition. Leaves contain cellulose which is not readily digested, and the guereza has therefore developed a specialised digestive system. It is a ruminant, which means that its stomach is divided into two sections.
The female reaches sexual maturity two years earlier than the male. She shows that she is ready to mate by smacking her tongue and showing her buttocks to the male. Around six months after mating, she gives birth to an infant that weighs about 400 grams. The baby is cared for not only by its mother, but also by other females.
Lives in the treetops
Guerezas mainly live in the treetops, but can occasionally be seen foraging on the ground. An area of one square kilometre can be shared by 100–500 monkeys. They are divided up into different family groups, with overlapping home ranges. Family ties are strengthened by mutual grooming. In order to keep its ‘neighbours’ at bay, the adult male roars loudly at dawn and dusk.