The grivet is an Old World monkey with long white tufts of hair along the sides of its face. The facial skin, hands, and feet are black. The face has a white line above the eyes. It has long, white whiskers on the cheeks. The fur on the back has an olive color, while the front is white. The skin on the stomach has a blue tint and the fur of this monkey has a bristly feel.
Grivets are found in Sudan east of the White Nile, Eritrea, Ethiopia east to the Rift Valley, and in Djibouti. They inhabit savanna woodlands and need to live around a source of water, especially during the dry season. Grivets are able to adapt to many environments and can also be found in rural and urban areas.
Grivets are most active in the morning and early evening. They stay on the ground most of the day to eat, and at night they sleep in trees. These monkeys spend a lot of time grooming, playing, climbing, and play fighting; all of these things help to ensure their survival. Grivets are very social animals. They form multiple-male groups that are usually of moderate size. In the hierarchy of males, an individual shows his dominance by putting his tail in a stiff, upright position and strolling past lower-ranked males. They travel in packs, and usually move on all fours or quadrupedally, except when using both hands for carrying when they manage to walk and run quite comfortably on two legs. Groups can range from 5 to over 70 individuals.
Grivets are omnivores and eat mostly fruits, vegetables, and sometimes small mammals, insects, and birds. They also scavenge for human food and must drink water daily, especially in the dry seasons.
During the breeding season females typically have a limited number of mates, while males may have several. Each female gives birth to one baby at a time, and gestation usually lasts 2-3 months. When the baby is born, the mother cleans the infant. Young have pink faces and black hair. Around 2 months are needed for them to get their adult coats. The first few months, the infant stays very close to its mother, but after 6 months, the infant is weaned.
Although not endangered, grivets are threatened through the destruction of forests and are occasionally hunted as bushmeat.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the grivet total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.