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You do Mine & I'll do Yours

You do Mine & I'll do Yours
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-19
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 400, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): AnYtHiNg ExTrEmElY hUmOrOuS, Monkeys, Baby Animals 6, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Mammals of Southern Africa II, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, So Funny, I had to laugh., Kruger National Park 2, Family Matters 1, Dedications at TrekNature Part Three, Peace and Love, CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos, My Dedications ;o) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-01 11:35
Viewed: 11621
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 82
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Vervet monkey - Cercopithecus aethiops

Sitting and watching any group of primates normally doesn't take to long to have one laughing in appreciation of their antics and carryings-on. Grooming is one such activity that can bring about the funniest moments thinkable. However, because we humans don't normally understand the intricate and complex behaviour within troop life we do not understand their manners and mostly read something into it that possibly indicated quite the opposite. For example, what might look like a smiling monkey to us might actually mean a sign of aggression to a fellow monkey. Looking at these two though, made me think that the young one definitely knows something about climbing the corporate ladder.

Anyway, we got to enjoy these two grooming each other while they were spending a lazy early morning at the small loop on the S62 road, situated on the banks of the Letaba River. From here the river continues on to the Engelhard dam, north of the Letaba camp in the Kruger National Park. The sun was slow to show due to the cloudy overcast conditions thus lighting conditions were rather dark. I had to revert to ISO400 and still only mustered a 1/160 second shutter speed. Obviously this makes it rather difficult with the big Sigma and the bean-bag had to work for its worth to try and make something worth of the capture.

This one is dedicated to 3 special people who have supported and encouraged me tremendously for quite some time and I would just like to show my appreciation to Betsie Stander (betsie), Rehanna Fourie (Rehanna), and AC van Dyk (Dyker). Thanks you guys, I really value your inputs and encouragements.

Taxonomic Classification

: Animalia (animals)
SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, & mammals)
CLASS: Mamalia (vertebrate animals with sweat glands, hair, 3 middle ear bones, and a neocortex region in the brain)
ORDER: Primates (lemurs, monkeys, and apes, with the last category including humans)
FAMILY: Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys native to Africa and Asia)

This small, black-faced monkey is common in Africa as it adapts easily to many environments and is widely distributed.

The different types of vervets vary in colour, but generally the body is a greenish-olive or silvery-grey. The face, ears, hands, feet and tip of the tail are black, but a conspicuous white band on the forehead blends in with the short whiskers. The males are slightly larger than the females and easily recognized by their turquoise blue scrota.

The vervet is classified as a medium-sized to large monkey-males weigh up to 17 pounds. Its tail is usually held up, with the tip curving downward. Its arms and legs are approximately the same length.

Five fairly well-defined groups have been assigned to this species and these are primarily area orientated:
Cercopithecus aethiops 'callitrix' – West Africa
Cercopithecus aethiops 'tantalus' – Ghana to south-western Sudan and Uganda
Cercopithecus aethiops 'grivets' – Sudan and Ethiopia
Cercopithecus aethiops 'vervets' – Eastern to southern Africa
Cercopithecus aethiops 'Malbrouck' – From a limited area of southern Zaire, Angola, and Zambia

Woodland, savanna and high bush. In East Africa these monkeys can live in mountain areas up to about 13,000 feet, but they do not inhabit rain forests or deserts. Their preferred habitat is acacia woodland along streams, rivers and lakes. They are diurnal, sleeping and eating in trees from which they seldom venture.

Complex but stable social groups (also called troops) of 10 to 50 individuals mainly consist of adult females and their immature offspring. Males move freely in and out of these groups. Within the troop, each adult female is the centre of a small family network. Females who have reached puberty generally stay in the troop.

Grooming is important in a monkey's life. Vervets (as well as most other primates) spend several hours a day removing parasites, dirt or other material from one another's fur. In the primates' hierarchy, dominant individuals get the most grooming. The hierarchical system also controls feeding, mating, fighting, friendships and even survival.

Leaves and young shoots are most important in the diet, but bark, flowers, fruit, bulbs, roots and grass seeds are also consumed. The mainly vegetarian diet is supplemented with insects, grubs, eggs, baby birds and sometimes rodents and hares. Vervets rarely drink water.

Caring for the Young
Infant vervet monkeys are suckled for about 4 months. When they become adept at feeding themselves solid food, the weaning process begins, although it may not be completed until the vervet is 1 year old.

Close social bonds with female relatives begin to develop in infancy, relationships thought to endure throughout life. Infants are of great interest to the other monkeys in the troop; sub-adult females do everything possible to be allowed to groom or hold a new infant.

After a birth, the mother licks the infant clean, bites off the umbilical cord and eats the afterbirth. The newborn has black hair and a pink face; it will be 3 or 4 months before it acquires adult coloration.

The infant spends the first week of life clinging to its mother's stomach. After about the third week, it begins to move about by itself and attempts to play with other young monkeys. Vervet mothers are proprietary in the treatment of their babies, and some will not allow young or even other adult females to hold or carry them. Others gladly leave their infants in charge of any interested female. Researchers report that usually a female's close family members will have the most unrestricted access to the babies. As the infants grow, they play not only with monkeys but with other young animals. Young vervets chase one another, wrestle, tumble and play "king-of-the-castle", and taking turns pushing each other off a high perch.

Vervets rarely venture further than about 500 yards from the trees, since they are vulnerable to a variety of predators, including leopards, caracals, servals, baboons, large eagles, crocodiles and pythons. Though they usually confine contact calls to chirping and chittering, vervets scream and squeal when in danger.

Conservation status
Least concern. Source

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS2.

nglen, goldyrs, Ken52, marhowie, JoshLewis, gannu, bobcat08, eqshannon, TAZ, haraprasan, boreocypriensis, ramthakur, Rehanna, Miss_Piggy, Aaltjie, Dyker, smitha, Amadeo, Luis52, iris, CeltickRanger, manyee, mbasil, Tamrock, jeanpaul, peter_stoeckl, saguzar, betsie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-01 11:43]
  • [2]

Hello Loot . Firstly thanks for the interesting notes I can always learn so much from TN. It looks like you had a holiday to remember. You have captured such a fine close up of the pair. amazing detail in the fur with natural colours. the little one looks so involved in its grooming to see you. TFS.

Hi Loot,
These primates look very much like the langur monkey we have in India.It's also spelt Langoor, at times.
An interesting note, and a good composition shot very well indeed.I do wonder about the blueish tone this species seems to have, or is it due to the light?
Grooming is also a form of bonding that monkeys use very effectively, Loot.
Excellent work!

Hello Loot,
Great shot of these grooming Vervet Monkeys along the Letaba river. I liked the Engelhard dam especially along the S46 'cause it is situated close to Letaba restcamp; you can ensure you arrive in time at the entry gates without loosing the 'golden' evening light.
Well done and thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-05-01 15:38]

Outstanding example of perfect focus and exposure. Interesting note and humorous title.

I love monkeys! Very nice choice of what to submit today! Also that is a very nicely detailed photo note! So far the Best I have seen on TrekNature! Thanks for sharing this one! Cheers Josh Lewis.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-05-02 0:07]

Hi Loot, all ready for the weekend rugby??? 25 mins and the first match kicks off.
These monkeys are the silver-grey variety. Quite an attractive colour - we have to like it because as we age those colours seem to take over our heads of hair!!
Interesting catch Loot, they seem very caring with each other as they groom like this
Good one

Hi Loot,
Are we talking about these primates, or the ones on TN?
You know, "you do mine, and I'll do yours" applies ;-)
Ok - Now that I got that terrible joke out of the way..
Your photo shows the special behavior/care these animals give each other in a humorous way..Reminds me of our oldest chihuahua (Daisy), who is always trying to lick my ear..I mean really lick it, forget the Q-tips :)
Same group or "pack" behaviour..
Anyway, just enough DOF to blur the surroundings nicely with great details, and POV of the action.
I like it of course!

A typical Kruger scene. We can also sit for hours just watching the monkeys and baboons doing "their thing".
Very good picture, I would have cropped slightly differently to get the tail tip in as well.

Hi Loot,

That are again marvelous notes you write for us. Thanks for that Loot. First of all what it makes this photoo so attractive is the amazing detail in the fur with natural colours. This is so a natural shot of these grooming Vervet Monkeys along the river. Splendid. Thanks for sharing. Regards and TFS BOB.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-02 13:59]

Hi Loot,
what a funny shot :-)
An excellent note too!
Very good poses.
Sharp and crisp.
Great light.
Good DOF too.
Well done!


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-05-03 1:49]

Hello Loot, Phew a long note and nice one too. Superb learning process from TN and your title is very correctly mentioned. Lovely capture of this pair indulging in some funny act. Great focus and sharp image. Thanks for sharing. Ganesh smiley tmrw

...and now I know this (chuckle) you speak of so often...Ah well what are friends for...someone once said "Home is where you can scratch where it itches". Rightly said...and so apt for this image...Very clearly done and soon you shall join Mario of Alberta! He posts some of what others might consider mundane daily activities but are all a part of the big picture which truly needs to be seen for folks to completely understand. Well done Loot!

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-05-03 16:50]

Hello Loot,

You capture a very nice moment of interaction and affection.
Very nice presentation, excellent pose, the colors and composition are superb.. Well done


  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2008-05-03 23:31]

Hello my old Friend,
First I want to thank you for your interesting notes and comments, we learn a lot because of you. The TN spirit !!! I would like to be so clever and also so good as you in english ;-)
I appreciate to admire this pair. Strange and beautiful their blue-silver fur. Your tittle matches well with their activity ;-)
Congratulations Loot and thanks again for sharing,

Hi Loot,
Thank you very much for liking the dedication of Rock Agamid to you. A nice capture of this beautiful monkey sp. A good example of one of their daily routine work. Lovely details and excellent composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Loot,
What a cute and splendid capture of these vervet monkey showing their natural behaviours:). The title is also wonderful my friend.
Many thanks for sharing this impessive shot and best regards,


Hi Loot,
The younger primate here is certainly doing things with an intent and purpose; at least its focused concentration on the task in hand says so!
Very good capture despite cloudy conditions.
We have black-faced primates in India too. They are a rather reclusive race and do not make their presence felt in people's houses unlike the brown rhesus monkeys who are clever and manipulative and have made lives miserable is some towns bordering erstwhile forests in our country. They can't be blamed either; we have devastated their natural habitats.
In certain remote valleys in the Himalayan region, I have seen humans grooming in a similar fashion; however, they normally don't focus on the part(s) the little fellow in your picture is focused on. They do it on heads -- picking lice and crushing it between thumbs. The activity is normally confined to women only.
Best regards,

Hello Loot,
excellent shot from you again
I like so much this funny scene and the high quality of this great shot,
a great cheer

Ag dankie Loot - wat 'n verassing! Nou gaan ek ook famous raak op treknature!! - dankie Loot dis goed om te weet dis vir jou lekker as ek jou fotos kyk en kritiek lewer. (Nie dat mens ooit iets kan sê van jou fotos wat nie goed is nie) Ek moet sê ek waardeer nogal die fotos op treknature baie - ek gebruik dit baie vir my "presentations" - (ek doen baie vir die Bybelverspreiding) - daar is die ongelooflikste fotos wat ek gebruik vir agtergrond. Wens ek kon vir almal 'n "general e-mail" uitstuur om dankie te sê vir al die ure wat hulle insit om dit vir ons moontlik te maak om toegang te hê na soveel mooi fotos.

Hello Loot

Aag jitte mens, nou wie sou ooit kon droom dat iemand my nogals op die "map" sou plaas hier op Trek Nature. Dit is wraggies 'n groot eer wat jy my aandoen om saam met Betsie en AC hierdie toewyding te deel. Baie dankie.

Die karnallies ken ek maar al te goed en met al hul streke en stoutighede is ek wel bekend, maar ons kan hulle seker ook nie alleen blameer nie aangesien ons hulle natuurlike habitat binne gedring het met ons verstedeliking en ontwikkeling. Dit is 'n pragtige foto die wat 'n kosbare oomblik vaspen tussen die twee diere en 'n belangrike deel van hulle interaksie uitbeeld. Baie oulik en welgedaan.


Hallo Loot
Splendid! I like this image very much. It is just beautiful and cute and adorable and worth all the oo’s and aa’s. These guys know how to play the perfect models and I am sure they also know how to act when they know they are being watched. We have had many laughs at some monkeys and also baboon’s everytime we came across them when visiting game reserves. You have captured this two in a lovely pose, showing the intence concentration on the little one’s face. I love the contrast of the silver grey fur and the blackof the flat and almost shiny ears. I like the natural surroundings and the background are displayed very well. This is an excellent example of true nature photography. Thanks for sharing these two cute little fellows. I think this is a lovely dedication to the 3 people mentioned Betsie Stander (betsie), Rehanna Fourie (Rehanna), and AC van Dyk (Dyker). I also think they deserved being mentioned specially, and I am sure they will each appreciate this special gesture.

Hallo Loot my friend
Ok! Ok! This one makes up for the previous one and you are forgiven for pulling that brave stunt with coming so close to that lioness that you could have brushed her teeth if you have wanted to. Once again some fine photography you have shared with us here. I am just glad I don’t have to stand like that with my bottom in the air waiting for the grandchildren to "Do mine & I'll do theirs". I think if that was the case I will still be waiting. Not that I think I'll like to theirs. Looking at this image makes me miss Maryke a lot. She liked it so much to sit on my lap and play with my nose or ears. I cannot wait to see her and I'll be showing her all these special photos if it is going to be possible at all. I very much like the silver hairy fur and the big black eyes, and once again the lovely story behind the story. Lovely dedication as well. I see those two Afrikaans "girlies" like to visit your photos and leave compliments and appreciation, which is well deserved.
Thanks for sharing.
Warmest regards

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-05-05 10:41]

Hi Loot
this is very nice image thanks for the interesting notes

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2008-05-05 11:17]

Hi Loot,
Primates need/can grooming each other because of they have not discovered insecticides. An interesting and good photo as usual.
TFS and best regard mf,
José Miguel

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2008-05-05 21:10]

Hello Loot
Oh yes, a prime example of primate life. This is an activity that they can partake in for most of the day if they are not foraging for food. On the other hand, you correctly compare this to a major component of corporate life as well. It's not only funny, but accurate. Due to the strategic zone of activity the young one appears to be very intensely focused with its actions and most likely because it needs to make very sure that it catches the tick and not accidentaly experience a slip of any nature. I think it would be called a 'smelly finger'. The other one seem to have assumed the position of a sprinter, ready to take off at the shot of the gun. Only this gun won't sound with a bang, it will be a detonation of a different kind (ha-ha). Ok, I think I need to change the subject before the anti-morality division might frown upon my allusion. This is another great photo from you showing us some interesting natural activity or behaviour. Thanks BIG TIME for the dedication.

Dear Loot,
What a charming picture! You must have had a great time watching these two grooming each other.You are a master when it comes to freezing the moments with your camera. And when you share it with us all in TN along with your such detailed and charming notes we get a feeling that we were there just along with you enjoying the moment.Atleast that is how I feel and I am sure there are quite a few here who will agree with me.:)
This is a beautiful capture with excellent POV, good focus, sharpness and details.Even at such low speed and poor light you have managed to capture good details in their fur.As usual excellent notes.
Thanks for the share,

Hola Loot, excelente momento has captado, buen encuadre, nitida y buena luz. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-05-07 20:03]

Hola Sr. Loot.
It is always very interesting for me to read Your notes and to see Your photos. They are all in high quality level and fine presentation.
This one is just beautiful, great moment You catch here of this two Primates, but what I like most is the expression in their lovly faces.
TFS this photo My friend.

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-05-08 1:21]

Hello Loot,
You are quite right on what we see and what we might interpret about animals could be quite opposed to what exactly will be going on between them.And i like that line on the "young fellow" who knows exactly well how to get up the ladder. Infact this is a scene right out of one of the best recent movies in Bollywood named "Life in a Metro", where a young executive is readily scratching up all the top guns in the ladder and is duly rewarded - moving from cubicle to cabin, assistant to deputy and more.But the best part comes when he realise how much of "what goes round can come round" and can hit one so badly...!!!Well i guess that's the difference between Vervet-the animal and Man- the animal.

A great capture with wonderful clarity and focus despite poor light.The silver grey and black produce beautiful contrasts against the brown ground. The muted BG works very well to set off the subjects and your notes are what i would read first even before i take a good look at the picture.

That's a lot of space i took up...but couldnt help!:)
TFS & Cheers

hello Loot

i am laughing because i loved your title,
African nature life very beautiful image,
with fine POV and DOF, great sharpness
and details of the subjects, TFS


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-05-13 23:18]

A very cute moment captured, Loot.
Both the groomer and the groomee seem to be enjoying their little session.
The action is caught in sharp details.
I too wonder a bit about the bluish tinge. From reading your notes, it is natural, thus quite interesting.
A great composition of this pair, doing what monkeys do. : )
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-05-14 18:55]

Great image of this velvet monkeys doing their favorite thing. I'm always amazed by how human like they are. I can watch them play for a long time. Very nice details on their features. Good sharpness and clarity. Composition is also good. The little is taking his task very seriously. He look so intense and concentrated. Thanks

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-05-17 6:57]

Hello Loot , Great cute shot from this duo , fantastic details pov colours , I like it , Good Weekend , Teunie .

Very cute, Loot. Nice moment, well captured. Your technique is invisible here, and I think that suits the shot well.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-20 20:48]

Hello Loot

Nicely captured shot of these two monkeys.Being a Northern boreal forest dweller ,I have no clue how difficult it would be to approach a monkey,but I imagine it must be difficult enough.
The POV and DOF are very good.
Excellent sharp focus and detail.You have managed to document their behaviour well.
Well done.

hi loot!
very nice one with good quality!
nice to see!

  • jeanpaul Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2097 W: 99 N: 3518] (14962)
  • [2008-05-22 19:10]

Bonjour Lott
Très belle prise de ce petit singe avec sa mêre après faire leur toilettage, excellente netteté et couleurs, belle expression du sujet et belle lumière.
Amicalement ...JP

Les sourires demain

Hi loot this is a great shot
with perfect sharpness great colours and nice moment you captured
very well done

Dear Loot,
a well observed, clear, well composed, charming image, coming with wise, warmhearted, well entertaining words - your trademark. A nice advice of how to make things easier for living together. Thank you!
My best regards,

Hola Loot,
Que curiosa foto, me da mucha risa la acción, con el mono pequeño rascando el trasero del otro, asqueroso según nuestros parámetros culturales, pero veo que los monos son más deshinibidos que nosotros, ja, ja, ja.
Una buena foto que es también buen documento

Nice shot. The colour and the bluish tinge ont he fur looks great. Also sharply focussed and good exposure.

What was the problem? :) :)

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