Kenya’s two species of baboon, with their distinctive ,lengthy ,dog-like faces, also uncannily ‘ ape’ numerous of the characteristics of the canine species, including their bark, their preference for walking on all four limbs, in contrast to most other primates, and their carnivorous habits. For though fundamentally vegetarian, meat types a consistent, if restricted, element of their meals.
The bigger of two, the Olive Baboon, is also the more common located everywhere in Kenya but the east, where the Yellow Baboon, smaller in height, is dominant .They cover up to 18 kilometres a day in continuous search for meals -shoots,roots,seeds,bushes,flowers,insects-and an occasional kill. They prey on timid mammals-hares and young gazelle-whose defense is to ‘freeze’ to the ground. They also snatch up fledgling birds.
Baboons typically use trees only to escape danger and to sleep in. They never walk upright, but move forward on all fours. Really social, their nicely-organized groups are identified as troops and typical amongst 40 and 80 animals. Each troop is permanent, ruled by a dominant male, which assumed authority by force. When it becomes senile, a younger leader usurps its place in a vicious battle for power.
Baboons are fierce fighters, and predators regard them with respect. When an enemy is sighted the troop leaders give the alarm, barking until the females and the young are surrounded by mature escorts- a primitive praetorian guard of snarling, snapping hostility. They are properly-equipped for defense, with a cute hearing and eyesight allied to incredibly successful teeth. They frequently inflict extreme, sometimes fatal, wounds on their enemy.
Females turn out to be sexually receptive about 1 week in each and every 4. They mate indiscriminately and often, 1st with the meeker males and then the much more dominant ones. Youngsters, born black with red faces, are carried below the belly.Later, like younger jockeys, they move to a ‘horse -riding’ position on the back. These early months are an essential introduction to the intricate rituals and behavior of the troop’s social structure.
Couple of sights in the wild are much more graceful than a Black and White Colo bus monkey on the move. As it leaps by way of the topmost levels of the forest with its fur and tail spread out like a vibrant cape it appears to glide. But, observed in silhouette, it is distinctly pot-bellied.
Colo bus differ from most other monkeys in two respects. They have only four digits on their hand, there is no thumb-and they devote virtually their complete lives above ground, in the highest levels of the forest.Seldom, if ever, do Colo bus monkeys come down to earth. Few creatures can equal their climbing capability or their leap-as a lot as their capability to stay silent, often for hours on finish.
These animals have been ruthlessly hunted for their fabulous coats. It is the badge of workplace of senior elders of the Kikuyu.Colo bus, which reside in troops of up to 25 animals produced up of numerous loved ones groups, are the most specialized feeders of all monkeys- living on a selective diet regime of forest leaves. Occasionally, when desperate, they consume insects. Significantly has however to be found about this fascinating and lovely-to-look at primate.
One more family members of high-living monkeys belongs to the Guenon group of tree-dwelling, daytime creatures confined to the tropical forest-with one exception. The Black-faced Vervet (or Green) monkey has developed in the opposite path and has branched out to reside down on the savannah. The only monkey of its sort with a black face, there are several variations throughout Kenya of this versatile and hugely adaptable animal.
They use the gallery forests and thick bush for refuge and sleep, but forage extensively on the open ground, usually over extended distances-up to 400 to 500 metres-in troops of among six and 20, though groups of up to one hundred have been observed. Mostly vegetarian, they feed on a diet regime of leaves, young shoots, bark, flowers, fruits, bulbs, roots and grass seeds for most of their 20 to 24 year life span. They also augment this with insect’s grubs, caterpillars, spiders, eggs, young ground birds like guinea fowl and francolin and, in uncommon instances, rodents or hares .Vervets has acute vision and superb hearing but a poor sense of smell. They communicate with a wide variety of facial expressions, lowering eyebrows, raising and jerking heads, and threaten with bared teeth and wide-open mouth. If a newly-born infant is held by an alien it provokes a violent reaction from any adult vervet, stimulating rescue initiatives, which include threat displays.
The genitalia of both the Vervet and the Patas monkey are an outstanding, iridescent sky-blue that signals sexual identity and interest .But the Patas is the only primate, which never mixes with other monkeys. Simply because of its co louring and shape it is also identified as the Red Hussar.
This huge, tall and lengthy-legged monkey lives virtually exclusively on the ground and can stand and walk, completely erect, on its hind legs. It makes use of trees-and termite hills -as vantage points. The Patas weighs up to ten kilos. Known as the ‘greyhound of the apes’, it has been clocked at 56 kilometres an hour.Patas keep away from dense cover and favour quite dry savannah, are identified about Nanyuki ,Rumuruti,Eldoret ,Kitale,and the Kongelai Escarpment and West Pokot.
The Skyes monkey, with its distinct white throat and chest patch, is a member of the Blue Monkey races which are a bigger and rather stout. They hold their thick lengthy tails, with a slightly curved tip, larger than the body when walking. Sykes have narrow, elongated faces with a purplish-black tone, no beards, but dense, bristly tufts of hair on their foreheads, earning them also the name of Diadem. Moving their black legs in a distinctive, gentle, trotting gait, Sykes monkeys are found anytime there are forests.
Sykes are connected to the extremely rare and stunning Golden Monkey, distinguished by their greenish-gold backs merging to orange on their flanks, which live in limited numbers in isolated pockets in western Kenya.
Resident in the Cherangani Hills, the de Brazza monkey, pale blue-grey with black limbs, an orange forehead, and white breast, is yet another of Kenya’s colourful but rare primates, as is the Grey (or Manga bey), found only in the Lower Tana Primate Reserve.
With its massive, bright ,wide-open ,kid like eyes and the contact of a baby’s cry ,its no surprise that the Lesser Gal ago ,a nocturnal primate ,is greater known as the Bush baby.This delightful, endearing creature,tiny,slim-constructed with thick and woolly fur, has a conspicuous white stripe down its nose. It is widespread and typical all through Kenya. Bush babies, which hide elusively in coastal bush and acacia woodlands and forests, make delightful pets.
Bush babies are effectively adapted of life in the trees. Their tail acting as weight, they use their hind legs to grasp the branches prior to leap-frogging from one particular branch to yet another. They occasionally come to the ground where they walk upright, or in a crouch, leaping sometimes on their very strong hind legs like a tiny kangaroo.Bush babies can jump an extraordinary 3 metres. They have a big vocabulary-at least eight various calls, which includes a higher-pitched alarm call which they can keep up for an hour or much more. Litters usually quantity two, born in a nest prepared by the mother, which leaves the young behind for the duration of her nightly search for food.
Even though they are connected, there could be no higher contrast to the impish liveliness of the Bush child than the Potto. This little, bears-like animal has no tail -or, at least, only a rudimentary stump, rounded head, tiny ears and unequal limbs.
The Potto, recognized in numerous an African vernacular as ‘half -a-tail’ reside exclusively in the leading storey’s of their forest property -rarely, if ever, coming down to earth. It would, certainly, be tough for them to do so.The movements of these cuddly-looking, slow motion ‘teddy bear’-like creatures are as close to active inertia as the law of physics and description let.