The Spring 2015 Turkana Basin Institute Origins Field School has begun!
Students arrived in Kenya and travelled to Mpala Ranch where we are staying at the Mpala Research Centre.
On the way up here we spent some time in Nanyuki, where students got to meet some Black-and-white Colobus monkeys. We talked about the interesting diet of these monkeys, who are primarily herbivores and rely on specialised microbes in their guts to help break down the leaves that they eat. These particular monkeys, however, also seem to have added bread rolls to their diet, that they steal from unsuspecting visitors!
These remarkable monkeys are part of a group that is diverse and widespread in tropical Africa, and they are also among the most beautiful of the primates with their long flowing tails and fringing capes. It was a special treat for us to watch them sunning themselves and leaping gracefully between the trees in the forests at the foot of Mt Kenya.
The students are learning about savannah ecology and evolution here at Mpala, including meeting some interesting large animals, and we will be sharing some more of our adventures soon!