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Ethiopia's Specialist Primates

Ethiopia's Specialist Primates
Photo Information
Copyright: Jeff Kerby (jtkerb) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 88] (410)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-22
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS
Exposure: f/2.7, 1/1600 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-07-23 17:27
Viewed: 4949
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Geladas (Theropithecus gelada) are found only in the Ethiopian highlands, although in previous ages (quite a long time ago) their genus, the Theropithecines, were once the dominant primate genus on the planet.

This species has survived whereas their close relatives have not by specializing in where they live and what they eat. They live in around high altitude grassland ecosystems (often over 3,200m in elevation - rarely up to 4,300m!) created by the massive shield volcano that formed all of the Ethiopian Highlands and makes up some of the more spectacular views of the West side of the Great Rift Valley. At night, the sleep on cliff faces, sometimes a kilometer or more of sheer rock, although based on some of my observations, they distinctly lack a fear of heights (more than I can say for myself). During the days, they ascend from their sleeping cliffs and forage mostly on grass and herbs - often in large herds often topping 300 individuals (although some of over 1,000 have been reported at other sites).

This population lives in less visited region of Ethiopia, the Guassa Plateau. More often, visitors will see this marvelous species in the Simien mountains where they exist in their largest population numbers.

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