Jun 21, 2008

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This

Photo source: Verizon.net
Say hello to the gelada. Theropithecus gelada (theropithicus = "beast-ape") is a baboon relative native to Ethiopia, though the fossil record has them all over northern Africa and even into Spain.

What impresses me most about this monkey, aside from the mane on the males, is that hour-glass patch of bright skin that looks as though the animal's chest and neck is being flayed open.

The patch is prominent in the males, less so in the females. But, when the female is in oestrus, the patch brightens and even becomes festooned with a 'necklace' of fluid-filled blisters.


I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I prefer the baboon equivalent of the swollen rear end on the ladies. So why doesn't the gelada sport the bloated red rear? One theory is that it would hinder the gelada, since it spends hours each day scavenging for food in an upright sitting posture. Hey, that's how I spend most of my day too.

Thanks for the gelada, Ida.

Photo source: Futura-Sciences.com

Photo source: Monkeyland.co.za


Anonymous said...

This makes me think of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom...

....did Speilberg and Lucas get their heart ripping out scene from nature?


Anonymous said...

One of the pictures is of Junior the dominanat male gelada baboon at colchester zoo where i work.
I just want to know what conditioner they use!

Raging Wombat said...

Claire, I must enlist you as a correspondent at the colchester zoo!