Week 8 of our “What animal am I?” series .…
Clue 1: I am primarily herbivore, but sometimes turn into an omnivore -> Living mostly on wild fruits, flowers, leaves & seeds they sometimes also enjoy insects, eggs and small birds!
Blue Family Jewells: The vervet monkey has vivid blue “family jewells” (scrotum) which pales when the animal falls in social rank. The colour is not caused by hormonal shifts (unlike the red bottoms of baboons and other primates in heat), it has to do with the scattering of light by the skin itself -> like the Tyndall effect. It is concluded that the blue-to-white colour variation is modulated by the degree of dermal hydration. They do chemistry without knowing it!
Social behaviour: They have been noted for having human-like characteristics, such as hypertension & anxiety. Vervets live in close-knit social groups ranging from 10 to 70 individuals which are called troops, with males moving to neighbouring groups at the time of sexual maturity. Troop members spend social-bonding time grooming each other, taking dirt and bugs out of their fur.
Babies: Females have one baby at a time, typically every year. Babies are born throughout the year but mostly between October and March. Allomothering is the process when another individual besides the mother cares for an infant, generally they are choose siblings or infants of high-ranking individuals.