Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stuart A. Altmann
Colobine primates make up one of the two major groups of Old World monkeys. All Old World monkeys are members of a single family, Cercopithecidae, consisting of two subfamilies, Cercopithecinae (the cercopithecines) and Colobinae (the colobines). About 54 species of colobines are currently recognized. Like cercopithecines, colobines are widespread both in Africa and across southern Asia and various islands of the southwest Pacific. They range in size from the West African olive colobus (average adult males 4.7 kg) to Himalayan grey langurs (19.8 kg) and proboscis monkeys (21.2 kg). Most colobines are long-tailed, long-legged, primarily arboreal inhabitants of moist, lowland tropical forests. Most species seldom come to the ground, except to cross openings in the forest. A few species are partly terrestrial; grey langurs of the Indian subcontinent spend up to 80% of the day on the ground and obtain much of their food there. Colobine monkeys differ from cercopithecines ...