We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Vervet Monkey?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A vervet monkey or Chlorocebus pygerythrus is an African monkey found in many regions of South Africa. In some parts of South Africa, the vervet monkey is treated as a pest, because it can be destructive to crops and disruptive to urban life, as the monkeys enjoy going through garbage and they will fearlessly steal from market stalls and grocery stores. These monkeys are well established and they do not appear to be under threat, also increasing habitat pressures could become an issue.

You may also hear the vervet monkey referred to as a green monkey. These monkeys are smaller than the average monkey, with black faces, hands, feet, and tail tips. Their fur has a greenish tinge, and it may be greenish-brown to greenish gray, with creamy highlights. Like other monkeys, the vervet monkey has very agile and flexible hands, and these creatures have demonstrated remarkable degrees of intelligence.

Most vervets live in troops, which can range in size from 10 individuals to over 50. Within a troop of vervet monkeys, there is a very specific social hierarchy which is rigidly followed, although this hierarchy can be disturbed through fights and other power plays. The members of the troop communicate with each other through a series of extremely complex vocalizations, including very specific alarm calls. Some biologists have suggested that the vocalizations of the vervet monkey closely resemble human languages, with complex layers of meaning.

The vervet monkey is diurnal, resting at night and foraging for food during the day. Most vervets rely heavily on a diet of fruit, but they will also eat seeds, nuts, leaves, insects, and some small mammals. This flexible diet allows the monkeys to adapt to changing environments, and unfortunately for African farmers, the vervet monkey has developed a taste for many valuable crops.

These African primates were apparently once spread widely across the continent, as they were clearly known to the Egyptians. Several subspecies have been identified, suggesting that the vervet monkeys diverged at some point in recent history, but as a general rule, all vervets seem to prefer the environment of the African savanna, sticking to the areas with trees. Many vervets spend most of their lives in trees, presumably because the arboreal environment is far safer than the ground.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.