By Collins Wafula
Vervet monkeys, also known as green monkeys or Cercopithecus aethiops, are a species of Old World monkey native to Africa. They are highly social animals and live in groups known as troops, which can range in size from a few individuals to over 100.
Vervet monkeys have a complex social hierarchy within their troops, with a clear alpha male at the top. The alpha male is responsible for leading the group and defending its members against threats, such as predators or rival troops. The other members of the troop have specific roles and responsibilities within the group, such as caring for the young or gathering food.
Vervet monkeys are known for their vocalizations and use a variety of calls to communicate with each other. They have specific calls for different predators, such as leopards or eagles, and can even use different calls to distinguish between different types of venomous snakes. Vervet monkeys are also known to use gestures, such as nodding or shaking their heads, to communicate with each other.
In terms of feeding behavior, vervet monkeys are omnivorous and feed on a variety of plants and insects. They are skilled foragers and will travel long distances in search of food. Vervet monkeys are also known to raid crops, which can lead to conflict with human farmers.
Vervet monkeys are intelligent and adaptable animals and have been the subject of numerous studies on social behavior and cognition. They have been observed using tools, such as stones to crack open nuts, and have even been known to use medicine to treat themselves when sick.
Overall, vervet monkeys have a complex and fascinating culture that is worth further study and exploration.