FIELD GUIDE Animal Directory

Primates

Intelligent, hyperactive and graceful, monkeys are among the most entertaining of creatures. They are well represented in equatorial Africa, but less so in South Africa, where only three species are present. This lack of diversity is due to the scarcity of suitably forested habitats. All of South Africa’s monkeys are Cercopithecids (cheek-pouched monkeys), an adaptable family of omnivores that fills many ecological niches from swamp forests to semiarid plains, and is named for its inner cheek pouch, which can hold as much food as a full stomach.

TAXONOMY

The three species of diurnal primate that inhabit South Africa are all classified as Old World Monkeys (family ...

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