Gelada

(Theropithecus gelada)

CHARACTERISTICS

Origin
Africa, Ethiopian

Habitat
Highlands (2,000 to 3,000 m a.s.l.)

Diet
Grasses, leaves, roots, rhizomes, bark,
seeds, nuts, fruits, flowers

Status
least concern

Weight
12 to 30 kg

Brooding/gestation time:
approx. 6 months

Achievable age
over 30 years in human care

Ladies’ choice:

Gelada males surround themselves with a harem of six to ten females. But it is the females who do the choosing! And personality matters: a male who helps care for the little ones and gives good grooming has a clear advantage.

Two for one:

The teats of female geladas are so close together that their babies can drink from both at the same time. Geladas are the only species with this trait.

Did you know?

  • Because geladas eat mainly low-energy grasses and roots, they spend two thirds of the day foraging for food.
  • The patch of skin on the female’s chest is a signal to potential partners: The readier she is to mate, the brighter it glows!