About This Animal
Diana monkeys are medium-sized primates with slender bodies, long legs, and long tails. Members of this species are distinctive because of their black faces and backs, white fronts and undersides, one white stripe along their outer thighs, and a reddish rump. Diana monkeys are named after the crescent-shaped band of white hair on their brow, which is said to resemble that of the Roman goddess Diana, protector of wildlife and woodlands.
In size, Diana monkeys are 16.5–24 inches long, with tails that can be up to 35 inches long; males are larger than females. These quadrupeds spend most of their time in trees, climbing through the canopies (they do not leap). They are noisy communicators, with an alarm call that alerts not just their own troops, but other species of monkeys.
These animals are social, living in groups of up to 20 monkeys. Their troops usually consist of one breeding adult male, multiple females, and their young. Breeding occurs seasonally, with one infant born at a time after a five-month gestation. Offspring inherit their mothers’ ranks in Diana monkey societies, and nurse for six months. Male offspring leave the troop, while females stay in their mothers’ groups their whole lives.
Diana monkey populations are fragmented and declining. Their habitats are being lost through deforestation, and they are also coveted by hunters.
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