Sooty mangabey

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Sooty mangabey [1]
Cercocebo Dal Collare.jpg
Juvenile Cercocebus atys
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Cercocebus
Species:
C. atys
Binomial name
Cercocebus atys
(Audebert, 1797)

The sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) is an Old World monkey found in forests from Senegal in a margin along the coast down to the Ivory Coast. [1]

Contents

Habitat and ecology

The sooty mangabey is native to tropical West Africa, being found in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast. [2] Sooty mangabeys inhabit both old growth and secondary forests as well as in flooded, dry, swamp, mangrove, and gallery forests. Sooty mangabeys are terrestrial omnivores, typically spending around 75% of their overall time on the ground (~85% of travel time and ~71% of foraging time). [3] In their foraging behaviors, sooty mangabeys typically consume fruits (~20% of diet), invertebrates (~13% of diet), and nuts and seeds (>55% of diet). [4] In acquiring nuts, sooty mangabeys have been observed scavenging the remains of coula and panda nuts cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs, potentially using either the sound of cracking nuts or social networks to identify sites of remnants. [5]

Taxonomy

Until 2016, Cecrocebus atys was considered a single species with two subspecies of this mangabey: Cecrocebus atys atys (Now Cercocebus atys) and Cecrocebus atys lunulatus. After assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016, Cercocebus atys lunulatus was declared a separate species (Cercocebus lunulatus). [6] Both Cercocebus atys and Cercocebus lunulatus were formerly considered subspecies of a widespread Cercocebus torquatus . [1]

Appearance

Sooty mangabeys are gray-colored primates with a lighter-colored chest and stomach. Their faces are typically grayish pink, with darker fur along the forehead and ears; [1] given their diet of hard seeds and nuts, sooty mangabeys are observed to have strong molars. [9] [4] Sooty mangabeys also show sexual dimorphism; males typically weight ~10–11 kg, while females are typically smaller at ~5–6 kg. [4]

Behavior

Social organization

Sooty mangabeys typically live and forage in large, multi-male, multi-female groups of 70–120 individuals. [10] [11] Sooty mangabeys form linear dominance hierarchies within sexes and form coalitions; within these hierarchies, higher-ranking females typically are found to spend less time foraging as opposed to feeding than their lower-ranking counterparts and were more centrally located within groups. [12] [13] Similarly, higher-ranking males were found to be more centrally located within the group, and be better fed and rested. [13] And in captivity, higher-ranking males sired more offspring, indicating that higher male rank is generally predictive of greater reproductive success. [14] Overall, however, females are found to be located in a more central spatial position within the group and better fed and rested than males, independent of ranking. [13]

Dominance rankings are not static; turnover of the dominant, alpha male has been recorded. [15] Furthermore, the dominance rank of children is not influenced by the dominance ranking of either parent, and juveniles typically challenge higher ranking adults starting around three or four years of age. [16] Typically, males will outrank all of the females by age five or six. [16]

Communication

Sooty mangabeys are typically predated upon by leopards, eagles, chimpanzees, vipers, and humans. [17] As a result of these selective pressures, sooty mangabeys have evolved acoustically distinct alarm calls for different predator types. [11] These calls are not vocalized specifically in favor of kin or cooperation partners [18] and in fact are used by other monkey species to avoid potential predators. [19]

Sooty mangabeys also produce other vocalizations within their varied repertoire for a wide variety of social interactions. [20] Sooty mangabeys are recorded most frequently producing grunts (typically in the context of foraging, socially embracing, or, between males, for asserting dominance), twitters (typically produced by adult females during foraging and social interactions such as grooming), and screams (emitted during agonistic interactions, typically by juveniles and adult females). [17] Other notable vocalizations include copulation calls mainly emitted by females during intercourse and "whoop gobbles"—low frequency, extended calls emitted by males at a high volume during the morning, with a nearby group, or with sightings or attacks of predators. [17]

When approaching other females with infants, females will use grunts and twitters to signal benign intent. [21] This often leads to unreciprocated grooming from the approaching female—mothers, upon receiving grooming, will allow for the grooming female to handle their infants. [22]

Sexual and reproductive behavior

Female sooty mangabeys have sexual swellings that are maximally tumescent near ovulation and typically have a gestation length of ~160–170 days; [23] while typically, higher ranking males would be able to identify estrous females and monopolize mating opportunities, it is suggested that dominant males cannot entirely control access to estrous females, [14] perhaps because swellings allow females to precipitate paternity confusion through polygynandry. [24] However, despite these potential counterstrategies against infanticide through paternity confusion, cases of infanticide have been recorded, usually shortly after a change in alpha males or with the introduction of new, immigrant males. [25] [26]

In captivity, recently deposed alpha males have been observed carrying their infants (likely for protection) in the presence of newly ascended alpha males, typically following aggression by the new alpha male towards the infant. [15] In habituated sooty mangabeys, immigrant males new to the group have been found to attack infants, who would be defend by their mothers. [26] In this context, resident adult males who had mated with the mother (and potentially fathered the infant) were found to defend the mother and infant from the attacking immigrant male. [26]

Females have thus developed behavioral counter-strategies to protect against attacks and infanticide. Females were found to mate with resident males during previous mating seasons and remain in close proximity to these resident males after birth. [26] In addition, females have been found to respond differently to the vocalizations of members of their own group (as opposed to non-group members), suggesting an ability to recognize infanticide threats from strangers. [27]

Disease

Sooty mangabeys are naturally infected with a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), known as SIVsmm. Due to extensive human-mangabey contact in sub-Saharan Africa, SIVsmm has jumped from this species into humans on many occasions, resulting in HIV-2 virus. [28] [29] Because sooty mangabeys, as natural hosts of SIV, do not get sick from SIV, much research has been performed on the species for potential genetic resistance or immunological mechanisms. [30] The HIV-1 strain by contrast came from the common chimpanzee strain of SIV. [31] [32]

Sooty mangabeys can also contract leprosy, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae . [33] It is one of several species in which naturally acquired leprosy has been reported, the others being humans, the nine-banded armadillo, the common chimpanzee, and the crab-eating macaque; murine leprosy has also been reported in rats and mice, caused by Mycobacerium lepraemurium. [33]

Conservation status

The sooty mangabey is believed to be decreasing in numbers as its forest habitat is degraded, with trees being felled for firewood and timber and forest habitats used for agriculture. [34] Furthermore, sooty mangabeys are hunted for meat in some parts of its range, often at rates far exceeding the rate at which Sooty mangabeys can reproductively sustain themselves; this increase in hunting, especially with improved technology and an influx of human populations (and thus hunters), has become an increasing threat to the conservation of sooty mangabeys. [35] The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the conservation status of sooty mangabeys as Vulnerable. [2]

Related Research Articles

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The chimpanzee, also known as the common chimpanzee, robust chimpanzee, or simply chimp, is a species of great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and the closely related bonobo are classified in the genus Pan. Evidence from fossils and DNA sequencing shows that Pan is a sister taxon to the human lineage and is humans' closest living relative.

Primate An order of mammals

A primate is a eutherian mammal constituting the taxonomic order Primates. Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small terrestrial mammals, which adapted to living in the trees of tropical forests: many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging environment, including large brains, visual acuity, color vision, a shoulder girdle allowing a large degree of movement in the shoulder joint, and dextrous hands. Primates range in size from Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, which weighs 30 g (1 oz), to the eastern gorilla, weighing over 200 kg (440 lb). There are 190–448 species of living primates, depending on which classification is used. New primate species continue to be discovered: over 25 species were described in the first decade of the 2000s, and eleven since 2010.

Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is a species of retrovirus that cause persistent infections in at least 45 species of African non-human primates. Based on analysis of strains found in four species of monkeys from Bioko Island, which was isolated from the mainland by rising sea levels about 11,000 years ago, it has been concluded that SIV has been present in monkeys and apes for at least 32,000 years, and probably much longer.

Mandrill

The mandrill is a primate of the Old World monkey (Cercopithecidae) family. It is one of two species assigned to the genus Mandrillus, along with the drill. Both the mandrill and the drill were once classified as baboons in the genus Papio, but they now have their own genus, Mandrillus. Although they look superficially like baboons, they are more closely related to Cercocebus mangabeys. Mandrills are found in southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo. Mandrills mostly live in tropical rainforest and in very large groups. Mandrills have an omnivorous diet consisting mostly of fruits and insects. Their mating season peaks in July to September, with a corresponding birth peak in December to April.

<i>Mandrillus</i>

Mandrillus is a genus of large Old World monkeys distributed throughout central and southern Africa, consisting of two species: M. sphinx and M. leucophaeus, the mandrill and drill, respectively. Mandrillus, originally placed under the genus Papio as a type of baboon, is closely related to the genus Cercocebus. They are characterised by their large builds, elongated snouts with furrows on each side, and stub tails. Both species occupy the west central region of Africa and live primarily on the ground. They are frugivores, consuming both meat and plants, with a preference for plants. M. sphinx is classified as vulnerable and M. leucophaeus as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Proboscis monkey Primate species

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Panamanian white-faced capuchin

The Panamanian white-faced capuchin, also known as the Panamanian white-headed capuchin or Central American white-faced capuchin, is a medium-sized New World monkey of the family Cebidae, subfamily Cebinae. Native to the forests of Central America, the white-faced capuchin is important to rainforest ecology for its role in dispersing seeds and pollen.

Gray langur

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Hamadryas 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'.

Social grooming Behavior in social animals

Social grooming is a behavior in which social animals, including humans, clean or maintain one another's body or appearance. A related term, allogrooming, indicates social grooming between members of the same species. Grooming is a major social activity, and a means by which animals who live in close proximity may bond and reinforce social structures, family links, and build companionships. Social grooming is also used as a means of conflict resolution, maternal behavior and reconciliation in some species. Mutual grooming typically describes the act of grooming between two individuals, often as a part of social grooming, pair bonding, or a precoital activity.

Wedge-capped capuchin

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Collared mangabey

The collared mangabey, also known as the red-capped mangabey, or the white-collared mangabey, is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae of Old World monkeys. It formerly included the sooty mangabey as a subspecies. As presently defined, the collared mangabey is monotypic.

Ugandan red colobus

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One-male group

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Sexual swelling

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Primate sociality

Primate sociality is an area of primatology that aims to study the interactions between three main elements of a primate social network: the social organisation, the social structure and the mating system. The intersection of these three structures describe the socially complex behaviours and relationships occurring among adult males and females of a particular species. Cohesion and stability of groups are maintained through a confluence of factors, including: kinship, willingness to cooperate, frequency of agonistic behaviours, or varying intensities of dominance structures.

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