Proboscis Monkey

August 17, 2021

Proboscis Monkey

Today’s animal is a long-nosed limb-grabber: the proboscis monkey! At 30 inches tall and up to 50 lbs., this Old World monkey is one of Asia’s largest. Let’s take a look at this mangrove-dwelling mammal.

Physical Features

  • Their long fur is typically orange, yellow, or red.
  • Their trademark long noses are thought to attract females. Scientists guess that males with larger noses can vocalize better, making them better mates and protectors.
  • “Proboscis” actually means nose.
  • With webbed toes, they can swim faster than many other primates.
  • They have pot bellies to house their complex chambered stomachs, which are required to digest unripe fruit and immature leaves.
  • They are known to belly-flop into the water from trees.

Habitat

  • The proboscis monkey is only found on the southeast Asian island of Borneo.
  • It is arboreal, meaning it inhabits trees.
  • Favorite habitats include coastal areas, swamps forests, and lowland forests that experience tides.
  • Natural predators include crocodiles, leopards, eagles, and pythons
Social Behavior

Social Behavior

  • Their social groups are typically made of one male and various females with offspring.
  • Not usually territorial, groups gather to forage and travel but only groom within their own groups.
  • They communicate with honks and social grooming.

An Endangered Species

  • Proboscis monkeys are protected by law in Borneo.
  • Biggest threats to these monkeys include logging and hunting. They are considered a delicacy in some areas and are used in folk medicine.
  • Their coastal homes are often turned into shrimp farms and oil palm plantations.
  • There are about 7,000 in the wild today.

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