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Vol. 23, No. 3, 1975
Issue release date: 1975
Folia Primatol 1975;23:165–207

Feeding Behaviour of Red Colobus and Black and White Colobus in East Africa

Clutton-Brock T.H.
Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, Madingley, Cambridge


The feeding behaviour of one troop of red colobus ( Colobus badius tephrosceles) was observed between August 1969 and June 1970 in the Gombe National Park. Similar observations were made on two troops of red colobus and two of black and white colobus (C. guereza uellensis) in Kibale Forest Reserve, Uganda, between August and October 1970. The red colobus at Gombe were highly selective in their choice of food, feeding on the leaves, shoots, flowers and fruit of a wide variety of tree species. The animals appeared to choose a varied diet, eating different foods in different feeding bouts on the same day. The amount of time which they spent feeding on different foods varied seasonally, usually in association with changes in food availability. Different parts of the animals’ range provided them with different kinds of food. The feeding behaviour of the red colobus troops at Kibale was similar to that of the Gombe troop. In contrast, black and white colobus at Kibale fed almost exclusively on mature leaves during at least one period of the year and fed largely on two tree species only. These differences in feeding behaviour may explain why red colobus live in large troops in large ranges while black and white colobus live in small troops in small ranges.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

T. Clutton-Brock, Ethology and Neurophysiology Group, Biology Building, University of Sussex, Brighton, Sussex (England)

 goto top of outline Article Information

Published online: September 10, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 43

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Folia Primatologica (International Journal of PrimatologyInternationale Zeitschrift für PrimatologieJournal international de Primatologie)

Vol. 23, No. 3, Year 1975 (Cover Date: 1975)

Journal Editor: Crompton R.H. (Liverpool)
ISSN: 0015–5713 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9980 (Online)

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