Sooty mangabey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sooty mangabey [1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Cercocebus
C. atys
Binomial name
Cercocebus atys
(Audebert, 1797)

The sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) is an Old World monkey found in forests from Senegal in a margin along the coast down to the Ivory Coast.[1]

Habitat and ecology[edit]

The sooty mangabey is native to tropical West Africa, being found in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast.[2] Sooty mangabeys inhabit both old growth and secondary forests as well as in flooded, dry, swamp, mangrove, and gallery forests. Sooty mangabeys are terrestrial omnivores, typically spending around 75% of their overall time on the ground (~85% of travel time and ~71% of foraging time).[3] In their foraging behaviors, sooty mangabeys typically consume fruits (~20% of diet), invertebrates (~13% of diet), and nuts and seeds (>55% of diet).[4] In acquiring nuts, sooty mangabeys have been observed scavenging the remains of coula and panda nuts cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs, potentially using either the sound of cracking nuts or social networks to identify sites of remnants.[5]


Until 2016, Cercocebus atys was considered a single species with two subspecies of this mangabey: Cercocebus atys atys (now Cercocebus atys) and Cercocebus atys lunulatus.[6] After assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016, Cercocebus atys lunulatus was declared a separate species (Cercocebus lunulatus).[7] Both Cercocebus atys and Cercocebus lunulatus were formerly considered subspecies of the widespread Cercocebus torquatus.[1]

  • Cercocebus atys atys, now Cercocebus atys, is commonly known as the sooty mangabey and is situated west of the Sassandra River in the Ivory Coast up to Senegal.[2]
  • Cercocebus atys lunulatus, now Cercocebus lunulatus, is commonly known as the white-crowned,[8] white-naped,[9] or white-collared mangabey (leading to confusion with the collared mangabey).[7] This now distinct species is considered to have a geographic range east of the Sassandra River to the west of the Volta River in Ghana; Cercocebus lunulatus is also recorded as inhabiting forests in southwestern Burkina Faso and northeastern Ivory Coast. Cercocebus lunulatus is considered Endangered by the IUCN.[7]


Sooty mangabeys are gray-colored primates with a lighter-colored chest and stomach. Their faces are typically grayish pink, with darker fur along the forehead and ears;[1] given their diet of hard seeds and nuts, sooty mangabeys are observed to have strong molars.[10][4] Sooty mangabeys also show sexual dimorphism; males typically weigh about 10–11 kg (22–24 lb), while females are typically smaller at about 5–6 kg (11–13 lb).[4]


Social organization[edit]

Sooty mangabeys typically live and forage in large, multi-male, multi-female groups of 70–120 individuals.[11][12] Sooty mangabeys form linear dominance hierarchies within sexes and form coalitions; within these hierarchies, higher-ranking females typically are found to spend less time foraging as opposed to feeding than their lower-ranking counterparts and were more centrally located within groups.[13][14] Similarly, higher-ranking males were found to be more centrally located within the group, and be better fed and rested.[14] And in captivity, higher-ranking males sired more offspring, indicating that higher male rank is generally predictive of greater reproductive success.[15] Overall, however, females are found to be located in a more central spatial position within the group and better fed and rested than males, independent of ranking.[14]

Dominance rankings are not static; turnover of the dominant, alpha male has been recorded.[16] Furthermore, the dominance rank of children is not influenced by the dominance ranking of either parent, and juveniles typically challenge higher ranking adults starting around three or four years of age.[17] Typically, males will outrank all of the females by age five or six.[17]


Sooty mangabeys are typically predated upon by leopards, eagles, chimpanzees, vipers, and humans.[18] As a result of these selective pressures, sooty mangabeys have evolved acoustically distinct alarm calls for different predator types.[12] These calls are not vocalized specifically in favor of kin or cooperation partners[19] and in fact are used by other monkey species to avoid potential predators.[20]

Sooty mangabeys also produce other vocalizations within their varied repertoire for a wide variety of social interactions.[21] Sooty mangabeys are recorded most frequently producing grunts (typically in the context of foraging, socially embracing, or, between males, for asserting dominance), twitters (typically produced by adult females during foraging and social interactions such as grooming), and screams (emitted during agonistic interactions, typically by juveniles and adult females).[18] Other notable vocalizations include copulation calls mainly emitted by females during intercourse and "whoop gobbles"—low frequency, extended calls emitted by males at a high volume during the morning, with a nearby group, or with sightings or attacks of predators.[18]

When approaching other females with infants, females will use grunts and twitters to signal benign intent.[22] This often leads to unreciprocated grooming from the approaching female—mothers, upon receiving grooming, will allow for the grooming female to handle their infants.[23]

Sexual and reproductive behavior[edit]

Female sooty mangabeys have sexual swellings that are maximally tumescent near ovulation and typically have a gestation length of ~160–170 days;[24] while typically, higher ranking males would be able to identify estrous females and monopolize mating opportunities, it is suggested that dominant males cannot entirely control access to estrous females,[15] perhaps because swellings allow females to precipitate paternity confusion through polygynandry.[25] However, despite these potential counterstrategies against infanticide through paternity confusion, cases of infanticide have been recorded, usually shortly after a change in alpha males or with the introduction of new, immigrant males.[26][27]

In captivity, recently deposed alpha males have been observed carrying their infants (likely for protection) in the presence of newly ascended alpha males, typically following aggression by the new alpha male towards the infant.[16] In habituated sooty mangabeys, immigrant males new to the group have been found to attack infants, who would be defend by their mothers.[27] In this context, resident adult males who had mated with the mother (and potentially fathered the infant) were found to defend the mother and infant from the attacking immigrant male.[27]

Females have thus developed behavioral counter-strategies to protect against attacks and infanticide. Females were found to mate with resident males during previous mating seasons and remain in close proximity to these resident males after birth.[27] In addition, females have been found to respond differently to the vocalizations of members of their own group (as opposed to non-group members), suggesting an ability to recognize infanticide threats from strangers.[28]


Sooty mangabeys are naturally infected with a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), known as SIVsmm. Due to extensive human-mangabey contact in sub-Saharan Africa, SIVsmm has jumped from this species into humans on many occasions, resulting in HIV-2 virus.[29][30] Because sooty mangabeys, as natural hosts of SIV, do not get sick from SIV, much research has been performed on the species for potential genetic resistance or immunological mechanisms.[31] The HIV-1 strain by contrast came from the common chimpanzee strain of SIV.[32][33]

Sooty mangabeys can also contract leprosy, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae.[34] It is one of several species in which naturally acquired leprosy has been reported, the others being humans, the nine-banded armadillo, the common chimpanzee, and the crab-eating macaque; murine leprosy has also been reported in rats and mice, caused by Mycobacerium lepraemurium.[34]

Conservation status[edit]

The sooty mangabey is believed to be decreasing in numbers as its forest habitat is degraded, with trees being felled for firewood and timber and forest habitats used for agriculture.[35] Furthermore, sooty mangabeys are hunted for meat in some parts of its range, often at rates far exceeding the rate at which Sooty mangabeys can reproductively sustain themselves; this increase in hunting, especially with improved technology and an influx of human populations (and thus hunters), has become an increasing threat to the conservation of sooty mangabeys.[36] The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the conservation status of sooty mangabeys as Vulnerable.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c d Koné, I.; McGraw, S.; Gonedelé Bi, S.; Barrie, A. (2020). "Cercocebus atys". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T136933A92248451. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T136933A92248451.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. ^ McGraw, W. Scott (1998). "Comparative locomotion and habitat use of six monkeys in the Tai Forest, Ivory Coast". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 105 (4): 493–510. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8644(199804)105:4<493::AID-AJPA7>3.0.CO;2-P. PMID 9584891.
  4. ^ a b c McGraw, W. Scott; Daegling, David J. (2020). "Diet, feeding behavior, and jaw architecture of Taï monkeys: Congruence and chaos in the realm of functional morphology". Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews. 29 (1): 14–28. doi:10.1002/evan.21799. PMID 31580522. S2CID 203653655.
  5. ^ van Pinxteren, Bryndan O.C.M.; Sirianni, Giulia; Gratton, Paolo; Després-Einspenner, Marie‐Lyne; Egas, Martijn; Kühl, Hjalmar; Lapuente, Juan; Meier, Amelia C.; Janmaat, Karline R.L. (August 2018). "Sooty mangabeys scavenge on nuts cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs—An investigation of inter-specific interactions around tropical nut trees". American Journal of Primatology. 80 (8): e22895. doi:10.1002/ajp.22895. PMC 6174941. PMID 30024029.
  6. ^ Dempsey, A.; Gonedelé Bi, S.; Matsuda Goodwin, R.; Koffi, A. (2020). "Cercocebus lunulatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T4206A92247733. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T4206A92247733.en.
  7. ^ a b c Oates, J. F.; Gippoliti, S. & Groves, C. P. (2016). "Cercocebus lunulatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T4206A92247225. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T4206A92247225.en.
  8. ^ White-crowned Mangabey. Archived 2008-08-28 at Mangabey Species Survival Plan. Accessed 2008-07-18
  9. ^ McGraw, W. S., Magnuson, L., Kormos, R. and Konstant, W. R. (2005). White-naped Mangabey, Cercocebus atys lunulatus (Temminck, 1853). In: Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2004–2006, R. A. Mittermeier, C. Valladares-Pádua, A. B. Rylands, A. A. Eudey, T. M. Butynski, J. U. Ganzhorn, R. Kormos, J. M. Aguiar and S. Walker (eds.), p. 18. Report to IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG), International Primatological Society (IPS) and Conservation International (CI), Washington, DC.
  10. ^ Daegling, David J.; McGraw, W. Scott; Ungar, Peter S.; Pampush, James D.; Vick, Anna E.; Bitty, E. Anderson (2011-08-26). "Hard-Object Feeding in Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) and Interpretation of Early Hominin Feeding Ecology". PLOS ONE. 6 (8): e23095. Bibcode:2011PLoSO...623095D. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023095. PMC 3162570. PMID 21887229.
  11. ^ Range, Friederike; Noë, Ronald (February 2005). "Can simple rules account for the pattern of triadic interactions in juvenile and adult female sooty mangabeys?". Animal Behaviour. 69 (2): 445–452. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.02.025. S2CID 53147754.
  12. ^ a b McGraw, W. Scott (2017), "Mangabeys (Cercocebus and Lophocebus)", The International Encyclopedia of Primatology, American Cancer Society, pp. 1–3, doi:10.1002/9781119179313.wbprim0170, ISBN 978-1-119-17931-3
  13. ^ Range, Friederike; Noë, Ronald (2002). "Familiarity and dominance relations among female sooty mangabeys in the Taï National Park". American Journal of Primatology. 56 (3): 137–153. doi:10.1002/ajp.1070. PMID 11857651. S2CID 16845674.
  14. ^ a b c Gba, Bomey Clément; Bene, Jean-Claude Koffi; Bi, Zoro Bertin Gone; Mielke, Alexander; Kone, Inza (2019). "Within-group spatial position and activity budget of wild sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire". International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences. 13 (7): 2991–3008. doi:10.4314/ijbcs.v13i7.2. hdl:10023/24428.
  15. ^ a b Gust, D. A.; McCaster, T.; Gordon, T. P.; Gergits, W. F.; Casna, N. J.; McClure, H. M. (1998). "Paternity in Sooty Mangabeys". International Journal of Primatology. 19 (1): 83–94. doi:10.1023/A:1020358927331. S2CID 11076934.
  16. ^ a b Busse, Curt D.; Gordon, Thomas P. (1984). "Infant carrying by adult male mangabeys (Cercocebus atys)". American Journal of Primatology. 6 (3): 133–141. doi:10.1002/ajp.1350060302. PMID 31986835. S2CID 84554123.
  17. ^ a b Gust, Deborah A. (1995). "Moving up the dominance hierarchy in young sooty mangabeys". Animal Behaviour. 50 (1): 15–21. doi:10.1006/anbe.1995.0216. S2CID 53201467.
  18. ^ a b c Range, Friederike; Fischer, Julia (April 2004). "Vocal Repertoire of Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys) in the Tai National Park". Ethology. 110 (4): 301–321. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2004.00973.x.
  19. ^ Mielke, Alexander; Crockford, Catherine; Wittig, Roman M. (2019). "Snake alarm calls as a public good in sooty mangabeys". Animal Behaviour. 158: 201–209. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.10.001. PMC 6915763. PMID 31875856.
  20. ^ McGraw, W. Scott; Bshary, Redouan (2002). "Association of Terrestrial Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) with Arboreal Monkeys: Experimental Evidence for the Effects of Reduced Ground Predator Pressure on Habitat Use". International Journal of Primatology. 23 (2): 311–325. doi:10.1023/A:1013883528244. S2CID 37003870.
  21. ^ Range, Friederike; Fischer, Julia (2004). "Vocal Repertoire of Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys) in the Taï National Park". Ethology. 110 (4): 301–321. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2004.00973.x.
  22. ^ Fedurek, Pawel; Neumann, Christof; Bouquet, Yaëlle; Mercier, Stéphanie; Magris, Martina; Quintero, Fredy; Zuberbühler, Klaus (2019). "Behavioural patterns of vocal greeting production in four primate species". Royal Society Open Science. 6 (4): 182181. Bibcode:2019RSOS....682181F. doi:10.1098/rsos.182181. PMC 6502363. PMID 31183141.
  23. ^ Fruteau, Cécile; van de Waal, Erica; van Damme, Eric; Noë, Ronald (2011). "Infant access and handling in sooty mangabeys and vervet monkeys". Animal Behaviour. 81 (1): 153–161. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.09.028. S2CID 53180842.
  24. ^ Stevenson, Miranda (1973). "Notes on pregnancy in the Sooty mangabey Cercocebus atys". International Zoo Yearbook. 13 (1): 134–135. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1090.1973.tb02126.x.
  25. ^ Alberts, Susan C.; Fitzpatrick, Courtney L. (2012). "Paternal care and the evolution of exaggerated sexual swellings in primates". Behavioral Ecology. 23 (4): 699–706. doi:10.1093/beheco/ars052. PMC 3999376. PMID 24771988.
  26. ^ Busse, Curt D.; Gordon, Thomas P. (1983). "Attacks on neonates by a male mangabey (Cercocebus atys)". American Journal of Primatology. 5 (4): 345–356. doi:10.1002/ajp.1350050404. PMID 31986853. S2CID 85203894.
  27. ^ a b c d Fruteau, Cécile; Range, Friederike; Noë, Ronald (2010). "Infanticide risk and infant defence in multi-male free-ranging sooty mangabeys, Cercocebus atys". Behavioural Processes. 83 (1): 113–118. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2009.11.004. PMID 19914358. S2CID 22015547.
  28. ^ Range, Friederike (April 2005). "Female sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys) respond differently to males depending on the male's residence status-preliminary data". American Journal of Primatology. 65 (4): 327–333. doi:10.1002/ajp.20119. PMID 15834893. S2CID 31320022.
  29. ^ Chen, Z.; Luckay, A.; Sodora, D. L.; Telfer, P.; Reed, P.; Gettie, A.; Kanu, J. M.; Sadek, R. F.; Yee, J.; Ho, D. D.; Zhang, L. (1997). "Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) seroprevalence and characterization of a distinct HIV-2 genetic subtype from the natural range of simian immunodeficiency virus-infected sooty mangabeys". Journal of Virology. 71 (5): 3953–3960. doi:10.1128/JVI.71.5.3953-3960.1997. PMC 191547. PMID 9094672.
  30. ^ Ayouba, Ahidjo; Akoua-Koffi, Chantal; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Esteban, Amandine; Locatelli, Sabrina; Li, Hui; Li, Yingying; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Delaporte, Eric; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Peeters, Martine (2013-09-24). "Evidence for continuing cross-species transmission of SIVsmm to humans: characterization of a new HIV-2 lineage in rural Côte d'Ivoire". AIDS. 27 (15): 2488–2491. doi:10.1097/01.aids.0000432443.22684.50. PMC 3881176. PMID 23939239.
  31. ^ Silvestri, Guido (2005). "Naturally SIV-infected sooty mangabeys: are we closer to understanding why they do not develop AIDS?". Journal of Medical Primatology. 34 (5–6): 243–252. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0684.2005.00122.x. PMID 16128919. S2CID 28272229.
  32. ^ Binhua Ling; Cristian Apetrei; Ivona Pandrea; Ronald S. Veazey; Andrew A. Lackner; Bobby Gormus & Preston A. Marx (August 2004). "Classic AIDS in a Sooty Mangabey after an 18-Year Natural Infection". J. Virol. 78 (16): 8902–8908. doi:10.1128/JVI.78.16.8902-8908.2004. PMC 479084. PMID 15280498.
  33. ^ Lemey, P.; Pybus, O. G.; Wang, B.; Saksena, N. K.; Salemi, M.; Vandamme, A. M. (2003). "Tracing the origin and history of the HIV-2 epidemic". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (11): 6588–6592. Bibcode:2003PNAS..100.6588L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0936469100. PMC 164491. PMID 12743376.
  34. ^ a b Rojas-Espinosa O, Løvik M (2001). "Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepraemurium infections in domestic and wild animals". Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz. 20 (1): 219–51. doi:10.20506/rst.20.1.1271. PMID 11288514.
  35. ^ Ferreira da Silva, Maria Joana; Paddock, Christina; Gerini, Federica; Borges, Filipa; Aleixo-Pais, Isa; Costa, Mafalda; Colmonero-Costeira, Ivo; Casanova, Catarina; Lecoq, Miguel; Silva, Cristina; Bruford, Michael W. (2020). "Chasing a ghost: notes on the present distribution and conservation of the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa". Primates. 61 (3): 357–363. doi:10.1007/s10329-020-00817-2. PMC 7203580. PMID 32318929.
  36. ^ Refisch, Johannes; Koné, Inza (2005). "Impact of Commercial Hunting on Monkey Populations in the Taï region, Côte d'Ivoire1". Biotropica. 37 (1): 136–144. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2005.03174.x. S2CID 85962024.

External links[edit]