Relatively little is known of these elusive monkeys. Recent studies have thrown light on many aspects of their behaviour and ecology, but still more research is required. They are highly social monkeys (4), forming units of 20 – 30 in winter, which often come together into larger troops of up to 200 in the summer (3). Several of these groups may in turn combine temporarily to form enormous bands of up to 600 (3). These larger groups are sub-divided into smaller family units comprising of one dominant male and around 4 females with their young (2). Most activity occurs in the trees, but some feeding may take place on the ground (2). When threatened, the monkeys take refuge by climbing very quickly high up into the trees. They feed mainly on pine needles and young firs, but they also take bamboo shoots, leaves, buds and fruits (2). Although golden snub-nosed monkeys display mating behaviour throughout the year, most births tend to occur in spring and summer (2) (4). Most matings are solicited by the female, who signals her readiness to mate with a number of signals and postures (4). One young is normally produced after a gestation period of 7 months, although occasionally two infants may be produced (2) (4). It is the mother that provides most of the infant's care, although males have been seen grooming their offspring (4). Sexual maturity is attained at 7 years in males and 4-5 years in females (2).
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