You are probably wondering what the Talapoins are, but they are one of the exceptional primate species found within the Central African region. These are the two species of old World Monkeys that are categorized within the Miopithecus genus. They include the Angolan Talapoins and Gabon Talapoins with their ranges stretching from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo to areas of Angola.
They reach sexual maturity at 5 years old and their gestation period of the Talapoins is 160 days whereby one single offspring is born and their breeding peak is from November to March. They are usually born weighing 200 grams (which is quarter the weight of their mothers). By the time their young ones make 6 weeks of age, they begin to eat solid food and start moving independently at around 3 months old.
Their monkeys measure about 32 to 45 centimeters long and weigh around 1.3 kilograms and 0.8 kilograms for males and females respectively, thus making them the smallest of the Old World Monkeys. They are remarkably characterized by the grey-green fur on top and white color on their underside, thus resembling the cunning vervet monkeys.
These primates are generally omnivorous with their diet mainly comprising of aquatic plants, fruits, insects, seeds, flowers, small birds, shellfish, small vertebrates as well as bird eggs. These primates usually disperse seeds of fruits they feed on thus controlling population of insects.
Their heads are round and short-snouted with hairless faces. These monkeys are arboreal and diurnal, preferring to live within the rainforests and mangroves close to water sources. Not only that, they are commonly spotted within open fields and surprisingly don’t get disrupted by the presence of humans.
Their lifespan is 28 years in captivity but their life expectancy in the wild is still unknown much as it is of course lower than it is in captivity. They are currently not threatened thus the reason for their relatively higher populations.
Just like the Allen’s swamp monkeys, the Talapoins can swim as well and search for food within the water. They live in large groups comprising of 60 to 100 members. They usually gather at night in trees near water and divide into smaller sub-groups during day time so as to spread easily to find food. These groups are usually made up of a number of matured males, several females as well as their offspring. Contrary to the other closely related guenons, the Talapoins are not territorial in nature but juveniles enjoy playing so much. Nonetheless, the adults also relish playing inform of wrestling (which involves grappling and grabbing) as well as play face and running fast while chasing one another.
Talapoins use both vocal and visual signals including facial expressions and body postures for communication with con-specifics in addition to tactile communications that also play a role in creating and maintaining social bonds through grooming. Some of them use chemical communication methods during reproduction.
Their natural enemies or predators are raptors, golden monkeys, big snakes, leopards, lions and Nile monitor lizards. However, they are also hunted by humans for bush meat.