Theropithecus gelada

  • Size


Body length – 69 to 74 cm       Tails length – 45 to 50 cm long        Average weight – 20.25 kg

       Females (somewhat smaller).

Body length – 50 to 65 cm       Tail length – 30 to 41 cm       Average weight –  14.8 kg

  • Both sexes have short rostrums and wide nostrils.
  • They have short brown fur and a hairless patch on their chests, usually triangular in shape, which is outlined by white hairs.
  • Males are marked by the presence of whiskers and a brown hairy mantle.
  • Sleep on rocky cliffs, from which they descend in the morning to go foraging in the nearby grasslands.
  • Wet season avoid the slippery rocks and climb tall trees (palms) in which cats can’t climb.
  • Male geladas’ canines aren’t used for hunting. Instead they’re used when fighting, threatening other males, or defending themselves against predators.
  • Geladas’ specialized molars are unlike those of other living primates and help the monkeys grind grass.
  • Exclusively herbivorousgrass blades are abundant, they make up 93% of the diet

    when the grasses have seeded, the seeds make up 70% of their diet

    In dry season 67% of their food is grass rhizomes and 25% grass blades

  • OMU (one male units )live in groups of one male with several females and their offspring


    Outside of these social organizations are groups consisting entirely of males

  • Grooming is exhibited by all members of an OMU. Grooming between the females and their male and is very important to the social stability of the group. When OMUs grow beyond capacity, the male is unable to give grooming attention to all the females. When unity within the group is lost, unattended females form new groups with males from roaming AMUs
  • Gestation period – 5 to 6 months.
  • Females generally give birth to one infant at a time
  • Lactation – 12 to 18 months.
  • Sexual maturity Females 4 or 5 years of age Males 5 or 7 years.
  • Conservation status
    IUCN 2008  assessed the gelada as Least Concern
    1970s population estimated 440,000                                                                                                                                       2008 in the to around 200,000
  • Major threats

Reduction of their range as a result of agricultural expansion and shooting as crop pests

Hunted to obtain their capes to make items of clothing