5th International Symposium-Workshop on Frugivores and Seed Dispersal (1985-2010)

FSD 2010 - Old World Monkeys




Old World Monkeys are the frugivores of the month

"Of the known 634 primate species in the world 48 percent are currently threatened with extinction, making mankind's closes relatives one of the most endangered animal groups in the world." More at Mongabay.com

Grey-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus albigena) feeding on Ficus sansibarica at Kibale National Park. © Alain Houle.

Understanding long-term primate community dynamics: implications of forest change by Colin A. Chapman, C.A. et al. Ecological Applications (January 2010) pdf


See also Biological correlates of extinction and persistence of primates in small forest fragments: a global analysis by Gibbons, M.A. & Harcourt, A. H. Tropical Conservation Science (December 2009) pdf


The Old World monkeys are a group of primates, falling in the superfamily Cercopithecoidea in the clade Catarrhini. The family Cercopithecidae includes 18 genera and 81 species. (see below) These monkeys are widely distributed in the Old World from southern Europe (Gibraltar) into NW Africa; throughout Africa south of the Sahara; and through central and SE Asia, including southern China and most of Japan. The Old World monkeys are inhabiting a range of environments from tropical rain forest to savanna, scrubland, and mountainous terrain. Old World monkeys and baboons, includes macaques, rhesus, mangabeys, mandrills, guenons, patas monkeys, langurs, proboscis monkeys, colubus, and many others. (Photo: Adult male blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) feeding on semi-ripe Ficus exasperata figs - Kibale National Park 2004. © Alain Houle)
Old World monkeys are medium to large in size, and range from arboreal forms, such as the colobus monkeys, to fully terrestrial forms, such as the baboons. The smallest is the Talapoin, with a head and body 34-37 cm in length, and weighing between 0.7 and 1.3 kilograms, while the largest is the male Mandrill (the females of the species being significantly smaller), at around 70 cm in length, and weighing up to 50 kilograms. The cercopithecines are omnivorous, have cheek pouches, and simple stomachs. Many authors are studying frugivory among Old World Moneys and their crucial role as seed dispersers. Here a selected list of 51 papers with abstracts (compiled using ISI Web of Knowledge). (Mountain monkey Cercopithecus lhoesti © Pierre-Michel Forget)


Most Old World monkeys are at least partially omnivorous, but all prefer plant matter, which forms the bulk of their diet. Leaf monkeys are the most vegetarian, subsisting primarily on leaves, and eating only a small number of insects, while the other species are highly opportunistic, primarily eating fruit, but also consuming almost any food items available, such as flowers, leaves, bulbs and rhizomes, insects, snails, and even small vertebrates. (Photo : Olive Baboon © Britta Kunz). See Fruit traits in baboon diet: a comparison with plant species characteristics in West-Africa by Kunz, B.K & Linsenmair, K.E., Biotropica (in press, 2010).

Experts of Old World Monkeys and Seed Dispersal

Nicole Gross-Camp
Hazel Chapman

Colin Chapman
Richard Corlett - Homepage
Alain Houle -
Beth Kaplin
Britta Kunz
Joanna Lambert - Homepage
Want to add experts : mail name and URL to fsd2010@yahoo.fr


Wikipedia - Old World Monkeys
Animal Diversity Museum - Cercopithecidae
Old World Monkeys,  Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College

Cercopan - Centre for Education, Research & Conservation of Primates and Nature

Nigerian Montane Forest Project - Facebook

Kibale National Park

Nyungwe National Park

(Photo : Tantalus Monkey © Hazel Chapman). © Hazel Chapman). See Seed dispersal by tantalus monkeys (Chlorocebus tantalus tantalus) in a Nigerian montane forest by Agmen, F.L. et al. Afr. J. Ecology (2009)


Brandon-Jones, Douglas & Rowell, Thelma E. (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 370–405.
Myers, P. 2000. "Cercopithecidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February 09, 2010 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Cercopithecidae.html.

Some of the presentations at FSD2010 about Old World Monkeys

Nicole Gross-Camp, Beth Kaplin -
Differential seed handling by two African primates affects seed fate and establishment of large-seeded trees.
(Photo. Mountain Monkey, Cercopithecus lhoesti © Simon Camp ).
Aurelie Albert, Alice Latinne, Tommaso Savini, Marie-Claude Huynen- Importance of pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina leonina) in seed dispersal: impact on the ecological balance of the tropical rainforest at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.
Hazel Chapman, Stephen Goldson, Josie Beck, Jenny Brown - Post-dispersal seed removal and seed germination of Cercopithecus nictitans dispersed seedin a West African montane forest. 

  Web Editor (P.-M. Forget) of FSD2001.org and the Angola Colobus (Colobus angolensis) at the entrance of the Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda, 2006