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Grivet [1]
Grivet (Chlorocebus aethiops) head 2.jpg
Amora Gedel Park, Awasa, Ethiopia
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Chlorocebus
C. aethiops
Binomial name
Chlorocebus aethiops
Grivet area.png
Grivet range
female in Ethiopia Grivet Monkey, Ethiopia (11402753086).jpg
female in Ethiopia

The grivet (Chlorocebus aethiops) is an Old World monkey with long white tufts of hair along the sides of its face. Some authorities consider this and all of the members of the genus Chlorocebus to be a single species, Cercopithecus aethiops. [1] As here defined, the grivet is restricted to Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea. [2] In the southern part of its range, it comes into contact with the closely related vervet monkey (C. pygerythrus) and Bale Mountains vervet (C. djamdjamensis). [4] Hybridization between them is possible, and may present a threat to the vulnerable Bale Mountains vervet. [4] Unlike that species, the grivet is common and rated as least concern by the IUCN. [2]


Physical description

The grivet's facial skin, hands, and feet are black. The face has a white line above the eyes. It has long, white whiskers on the cheeks. The fur on the back has an olive color, while the front is white. The skin on the stomach has a blue tint. The fur has a bristly feel. The approximate head and body length for males is 49 cm (19 in) and 42.6 cm (16.8 in) for females. [5] The length of the tail for males is about 30–50 cm (12–20 in). [6] The body mass ranges from 3.4 to 8.0 kg (7.5 to 17.6 lb), with females at the smaller end of the scale. [5]

Habitat and distribution

The main habitat of the grivet is savanna woodlands. [2] Its range is Sudan east of the White Nile, Eritrea, and Ethiopia east to the Rift Valley. [1] [7] It is also found in Djibouti. [2] The grivet needs to live around a source of water, especially during the dry season. It is able to adapt to many environments. [2]

Local and indigenous names

In Tigrinya language: ወዓግ (wi’ag) [7]


The grivet is most active in the morning and early evening. It stays on the ground most of the day to eat, and at night it sleeps in trees. The grivet spends a lot of time grooming, playing, climbing, and play fighting; all of these things help to ensure its survival. Its eating habits consist of eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and sometimes small mammals, insects, and birds, making it an omnivore. It also scavenges for human food. It must drink water daily, especially in the dry seasons. It is one of few species that has multiple-male groups that are of moderate size. In the hierarchy of males, an individual shows his dominance by putting his tail in a stiff, upright position and strolling past lower-ranked males. [8] They travel in packs, and usually move on all fours or quadrupedally, except when using both hands for carrying, when they manage to walk and run quite comfortably on two legs. Groups can range from five to over 70. [5]

Females will have a limited number of mates, while males may have several. Swelling of the female's vulva alerts males as to when she is in estrus. Giving birth to one baby at a time is common, and gestation usually lasts 2-3 months. When the baby is born, the mother cleans the infant and bites off the umbilical cord. Young have pink faces and black hair. Around two months are needed for them to get their adult coats. The first few months, the infant stays very close to its mother, but after 6 months, the infant is weaned. [5]


Grivets are occasionally hunted as bushmeat. They are killed for either commercial or subsistence purposes. Although not endangered, they are threatened through destruction of habitat - forests. They are preyed on by large snakes, leopards, humans, and sometimes baboons. [9] Grivets may live for 13 years. [5]

Relationship with humans

The grivet is one of five species of monkeys known to have been kept in ancient Egypt, the others being the hamadryas baboon, the olive baboon, the patas monkey, and the barbary macaque. Grivets were imported from the Land of Punt, as attested in paintings and in the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor . They were sometimes traded as far afield as Assyria. They are rarer in representations than baboons, and unlike baboons, do not seem to have borne individual names. [10]

Grivets are depicted on Egyptian tombs as house pets and on leashes. In some depictions, they may symbolize male sexuality. Early Dynastic statuettes of grivets have been found in sanctuaries, where they may have been votive offerings to the baboon god. A grivet shooting a bow was an aspect of the invisible god Atum, and at Deltaic Babylon, a grivet was the town god represented by a statue in the temple. [10]

Related Research Articles

Patas monkey Species of Old World monkey

The patas monkey, also known as the wadi monkey or hussar monkey, is a ground-dwelling monkey distributed over semi-arid areas of West Africa, and into East Africa. It is considered the only member of the genus Erythrocebus.

Old World monkey Family of mammals

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 and macaques. 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 45 to 55 million years ago.

Guenon Genus of Old World monkeys

The guenons are the genus Cercopithecus of Old World monkeys. Not all members of this genus have the word "guenon" in their common names; also, because of changes in scientific classification, some monkeys in other genera may have common names that include the word "guenon". Nonetheless, the use of the term guenon for monkeys of this genus is widely accepted.

Blue monkey Species of Old World monkey

The blue monkey or diademed monkey is a species of Old World monkey native to Central and East Africa, ranging from the upper Congo River basin east to the East African Rift and south to northern Angola and Zambia. It sometimes includes Sykes', silver, and golden monkeys as subspecies.

Dryas monkey Species of Old World monkey

The Dryas monkey, also known as Salonga monkey, ekele, or inoko, is a little-known species of guenon found only in the Congo Basin, restricted to the left bank of the Congo River. It is now established that the animals that had been classified as Cercopithecus salongo were in fact Dryas monkeys. Some older sources treat the Dryas monkey as a subspecies of the Diana monkey and classify it as C. diana dryas, but it is geographically isolated from any known Diana monkey population.

Olive baboon Also called the Anubis baboon, is a member of the family Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys)

The olive baboon, also called the Anubis baboon, is a member of the family Cercopithecidae. The species is the most wide-ranging of all baboons, being found in 25 countries throughout Africa, extending from Mali eastward to Ethiopia and Tanzania. Isolated populations are also present in some mountainous regions of the Sahara. It inhabits savannahs, steppes, and forests. The common name is derived from its coat colour, which is a shade of green-grey at a distance. A variety of communications, vocal and non-vocal, facilitate a complex social structure.

Vervet monkey Species of Old World monkey

The vervet monkey, or simply vervet, is an Old World monkey of the family Cercopithecidae native to Africa. The term "vervet" is also used to refer to all the members of the genus Chlorocebus. The five distinct subspecies can be found mostly throughout Southern Africa, as well as some of the eastern countries. Vervets were introduced to Florida, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Cape Verde. These mostly herbivorous monkeys have black faces and grey body hair color, ranging in body length from about 40 cm (16 in) for females, to about 50 cm (20 in) for males.

Yellow baboon Species of baboon

The yellow baboon is a baboon in the family of Old World monkeys. The species epithet means "dog-head" in Greek, due to the dog-like shape of the muzzle and head. Yellow baboons have slim bodies with long arms and legs, and yellowish-brown hair. They resemble the Chacma baboon, but are somewhat smaller and with a less elongated muzzle. Their hairless faces are black, framed with white sideburns. Males can grow to about 84 cm, females to about 60 cm. They have long tails which grow to be nearly as long as their bodies. The average life span of the yellow baboon in the wild is roughly 15–20 years; some may live up to 30 years.

Hamadryas baboon Species of baboon

The hamadryas baboon is a species of baboon from the Old World monkey family. It is the northernmost of all the baboons, being native to the Horn of Africa and the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. These regions provide habitats with the advantage for this species of fewer natural predators than central or southern Africa where other baboons reside. The hamadryas baboon was a sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians and appears in various roles in ancient Egyptian religion, hence its alternative name of 'sacred baboon'.

Cercopithecinae Subfamily of Old World monkeys

The Cercopithecinae are a subfamily of the Old World monkeys, which comprises roughly 71 species, including the baboons, the macaques, and the vervet monkeys. Most cercopithecine monkeys are limited to sub-Saharan Africa, although the macaques range from the far eastern parts of Asia through northern Africa, as well as on Gibraltar.

<i>Chlorocebus</i> Genus of Old World monkeys

Chlorocebus is a genus of medium-sized primates from the family of Old World monkeys. Six species are currently recognized, although some people classify them all as a single species with numerous subspecies. Either way, they make up the entirety of the genus Chlorocebus.

Mona monkey Species of Old World monkey

The mona monkey is an Old World monkey that lives in western Africa between Ghana and Cameroon. The mona monkey can also be found on the island of Grenada as it was transported to the island aboard slave ships headed to the New World during the 18th century. This guenon lives in groups of up to thirty-five in forests. It mainly feeds on fruit, but sometimes eats insects and leaves. The mona monkey has brown agouti fur with a white rump. Its tail and legs are black and the face is blue-grey with a dark stripe across the face. The mona monkey carries food in cheek pouches.

LHoests monkey Species of mammal

L'Hoest's monkey or mountain monkey, is a guenon found in the upper eastern Congo basin. They mostly live in mountainous forest areas in small, female-dominated groups. They have a dark coat and can be distinguished by a characteristic white beard.

Malbrouck Species of Old World monkey

The malbrouck is an Old World primate from Africa that belongs to the genus Chlorocebus. The species is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the vervet monkey, or of the widespread grivet.

Red-eared guenon Species of Old World monkey

The red-eared guenon, red-eared monkey, or russet-eared guenon is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae. It is found in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss, illegal bushmeat hunting and pet trade.

Green monkey Species of mammal

The green monkey, also known as the sabaeus monkey, is an Old World monkey with golden-green fur and pale hands and feet. The tip of the tail is golden yellow as are the backs of the thighs and cheek whiskers. It does not have a distinguishing band of fur on the brow, like other Chlorocebus species, and males have a pale blue scrotum. Some authorities consider this and all of the members of the genus Chlorocebus to be a single widespread species, Chlorocebus aethiops.

Bale Mountains vervet Species of Old World monkey

The Bale Mountains vervet is a terrestrial Old World monkey endemic to Ethiopia, found in the bamboo forests of the Bale Mountains. All species in Chlorocebus were formerly in the genus Cercopithecus. The Bale Mountains vervet is one of the least-known primates in Africa. They avoid tree-dominated and bushland areas as their habitat. These monkeys mainly reside in the bamboo forest of the Bale Mountains due their dietary specialization on bamboo, but other factors, such as climate, forest history, soil quality, and disease, are likely to play a role in their choice to inhabit this area. The Bale Mountains vervet have a very quiet behavior and tend to flee when encountering a human being. It is also known as the Bale monkey.

Tantalus monkey Species of Old World monkey

The tantalus monkey is an Old World monkey from Africa that ranges from Ghana to Sudan. It was originally described as a subspecies of the grivet. All species in Chlorocebus were formerly in the genus Cercopithecus. It is a common species with a wide range, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".


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