Gelada monkeys live in large herds in the alpine grasslands of the towering Simien Mountains in Ethiopia.
Two adult female geladas grooming on the edge of a cliff.
Research published in the Feb. 24, 2012, issue of the journal Science suggests that when male gelada monkeys take over a reproductive group, the pregnant monkeys in the group spontaneously miscarry. Then they mated with the new male (mating scene shown here) and got pregnant again.
Male Monkey Takeover
A gelada reproductive unit on the edlge of a cliff. Three adult females sit with their infants (foreground) while their leader male looks on (background).
A 4-month-old infant gelada riding on her mother's head.
Mama and Baby
A mother gelada and her 6-month-old infant. Infant geladas typically nurse for the first 1.5 to 2.0 years of their lives.
A mama gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada) carrying her baby on her back.
Adult males sport a long, heavy, cape of hair on their backs; they also have a hairless hourglass-shape pink or red area of skin located on the chest. For females, this reddish skin patch is surrounded by pearl-like knobs of skin.
Adult geladas have quite the repertoire of vocalizations, with about 30 distinct calls, including those used for contact, reassurance, appeasement, solicitation, ambivalence and aggressive-defensive vocalizations. Females have specific estrus calls to alert males that they're ready to mate.
How Cute Are We?
Gelada monkeys, like this pair of juveniles, spend a good chunk of time in social activities.