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Colobinae facts for kids

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Colobine monkeys
A langur
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Colobinae

The Colobinae are a subfamily of Old World monkeys. The family includes 59 species in 10 genera, including the Colobus monkeys, the large-nosed proboscis monkey, and the grey langurs. The word "langur" means 'having a long tail.'

Some classifications split the colobine monkeys into two tribes, while others split them into three groups. Both classifications put the three African genera Colobus, Piliocolobus, and Procolobus in one group; these genera are distinct because they have stub thumbs.

The various Asian genera are placed into one or two groups. Analysis of mtDNA shows the Asian species form two distinct groups, one of langurs and the other of the "odd-nosed" species. The grey langurs are not closely related to either.


Colobines are medium-sized primates with long tails and diverse colorations. The coloring of nearly all the young animals differs remarkably from that of the adults.

Most species are arboreal, although some live a more terrestrial life. They are found in many different habitats of different climate zones (rain forests, mangroves, mountain forests, and savannah), but not in deserts and other dry areas. They live in groups, but in different group forms.

Colobines are folivorous, meaning their main source of nutrition is leaves. Their diet may also be supplemented with flowers, fruits and the occasional insect. To aid in digestion, particularly of hard-to-digest leaves, they have multichambered, complex stomachs, making them the only ruminant primates. Unlike the other subfamily of Old World monkeys, the Cercopithecinae, they possess no cheek pouches.

Gestation averages six to seven months. Young are weaned at about one year and are mature at three to six years. Their life expectancy is approximately 20 years.

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Colobinae Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.