Agile mangabey

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Agile mangabey [1]
Cercocebus agilis.jpg
Agile mangabey illustration
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Cercocebus
C. agilis
Binomial name
Cercocebus agilis
Agile Mangabey area.png
Agile mangabey range

The agile mangabey (Cercocebus agilis) is an Old World monkey of the white-eyelid mangabey group found in swampy forests of Central Africa in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, and DR Congo. [1] Until 1978, it was considered a subspecies of the Tana River mangabey (C. galeritus). [3] More recently, the golden-bellied mangabey (C. chrysogaster) has been considered a separate species instead of a subspecies of the agile mangabey. [1]


Physical characteristics

The agile mangabey has a short, overall dull olive-grey pelage. [4] The bare skin of the face and feet is blackish. [5] Males are 51–65 centimeters (20–26 inches) in length and weigh about 7–13 kilograms (15–29 lb), while the smaller females are 44–55 centimeters (17–22 inches) and weigh 5–7 kilograms (11–15 lb). [4]


Similar to other mangabeys, they are diurnal. [3] Although generally arboreal, they do spend a significant portion of their time (12–22%) on the ground, [5] especially during the dry season. It is typically more commonly heard than seen, [4] and males have a loud, species-specific call that is believed to be used to space themselves out. [3] Other calls are also used to maintain group cohesion and warn of predators. [5] Group size can be as high as 18 members, led by a single adult male. Group meetings can be friendly and may involve exchange of members. Adult males not in groups often travel singly. [4]


Fruit makes up a major portion of the agile mangabey diet. They are known to eat at least 42 different species of fruit. [5] Their tooth structure and powerful jaws allows them to open tough pods and fruits that many other monkeys can not access. [5] Agile mangabeys eat from a number of dominant swamp-forest trees, including dika nuts and sugar plums, when they are fruiting. [4] They also eat fresh leaf shoots from raffia palms when fruits are scarce. Grasses and mushrooms, [4] as well as insects, other invertebrates, bird's eggs and some vertebrate prey, such as rodents, are also eaten. [5]


Agile mangabeys are known to contract T-cell leukemia virus, similar to the leukemia virus that infects humans. [6] There is also evidence that they contract Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a virus related to human HIV that infects certain apes and monkeys. [7] They have rarely been kept in captivity, [5] with only three individuals held in Species360 registered institutions in July 2008. [8]

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Old World monkey is the common English name for a family of primates known taxonomically as the Cercopithecidae. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons, macaques, and mabahlls. Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc, vervet, gelada, mangabey, langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Phylogenetically, they are more closely related to apes than to New World monkeys. They diverged from a common ancestor of New World monkeys around 55 million years ago.

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Golden-bellied mangabey Species of Old World monkey

The golden-bellied mangabey is a social Old World monkey found in swampy, humid forests south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was previously considered a subspecies of the agile mangabey . Little is published about the species and its behaviour has only been studied in captivity.

Grey-cheeked mangabey Species of Old World monkey

The grey-cheeked mangabey, also known as the white-cheeked mangabey, is an Old World monkey found in the forests of Central Africa. It ranges from Cameroon down to Gabon. The grey-cheeked mangabey is a dark monkey, looking in shape overall like a small, hairy baboon. Its thick brown fur is almost black in its forest home, with a slightly rufus/golden mane around the neck. The sexes are similar, with the males slightly larger than the females.

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White-eyelid mangabey Genus of Old World monkeys

The white-eyelid mangabeys are African Old World monkeys belonging to the genus Cercocebus. They are characterized by their bare upper eyelids, which are lighter than their facial skin colouring, and the uniformly coloured hairs of the fur. The other two genera of mangabeys, Lophocebus and Rungwecebus, were once thought to be very closely related to Cercocebus, so much so that all the species were placed in one genus. However, it is now understood that Lophocebus and Rungwecebus species are more closely related to the baboons in genus Papio, while the Cercocebus species are more closely related to the mandrill.

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Sanje mangabey Species of Old World monkey

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  7. "Risk to Human Health from a Plethora of Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses in Primate Bushmeat" . Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  8. "Cercocebus agilis agilis - International Species Information System Abstract" . Retrieved 2008-07-19.