A-z - Animals

Proboscis Monkey

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proboscis monkey 1

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Classification and Evolution

Big Nosed Animals: Proboscis Monkeys
Proboscis monkeys use their large noses to attract mates.

©David Evison/Shutterstock.com

The proboscis monkey is a medium-sized arboreal primate found only in the rainforests of Borneo. The male proboscis monkey is not only one of the largest monkeys in Asia, but also one of the most unique mammals in the world, with a long, fleshy snout and a large, swollen stomach.

Although a slightly larger nose and protruding stomach are traits of the langur family, the proboscis monkeys have more than twice as many of these traits as their close relatives.

However, today's proboscis monkeys are highly threatened in their natural environment, with deforestation having a devastating impact on the unique habitat in which the proboscis monkeys reside.

anatomy and appearance

Male proboscis monkeys are much larger than females, reaching a height of 76 cm and weighing more than 20 kg. The tail is very long, easily equal to the body length, and is used to help the proboscis monkey maintain balance. jump tree.



Adults are predominantly pale orange to light brown, with a more colorful head and shoulders, grayish limbs and tail, and a pale pink face.

The protruding nose of proboscis monkeys develops with age, with infants having more monkey-like noses and older mature males having larger and more bulbous noses. Although scientists are still not sure why the proboscis nose

Monkeys have grown so large that it is widely believed to attract female mates, as females have much smaller noses.

Distribution and Habitat

Proboscis monkey, Labuk Bay near Sandakan

© Millie Bond – Copyright AZ Animals

Native to the island of Borneo, the proboscis monkey was once fairly common throughout the coastal mangroves (except in central Sarawak).

Proboscis monkeys inhabit very unique habitats, most commonly found in mangrove swamps, but are also known to inhabit coastal mangroves, riverine forests and lowland rainforests, provided a good source of fresh water is available.

Proboscis monkeys also manage to take hold in these wetland forests thanks to a diet of foliage, and are the largest mammals that inhabit the higher tree canopies.

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However, these rare areas are heavily affected by deforestation, which means that proboscis monkey populations become more isolated as they avoid deforested or densely populated areas.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Two proboscis monkeys fighting against a blurred green background
Monkeys fight for reasons beyond the usual suspicions about food, territory, and mating rights.

©Patrik Stanek/Shutterstock.com

Proboscis monkeys are very sociable animals that inhabit the surrounding mangroves in groups of 2 to 30 individuals each, with one dominant male and up to 10 females, And they're all young.

Female proboscis monkeys tend to take the lead in finding food and caring for young, while male proboscis monkeys defend their group by loudly honking and baring their teeth.

Troops of proboscis monkeys have been known to congregate near water or in areas where food is plentiful, while at night the troop rests and sleeps in the safety of mangroves near water.

Since proboscis monkeys require a good supply of fresh water, such as a swamp or river, they are excellent swimmers and have been known to travel across deep areas in search of food or to flee approaching danger.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Wild proboscis monkey mother and baby in the mangroves of Borneo
Wild proboscis monkey mother and baby in the mangroves of Borneo

© Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock.com

After a gestation period of about five and a half months, a female proboscis monkey gives birth to a cub with dark coat and bluish complexion, which does not develop adult body color until three or four months old.

Young proboscis monkeys are cared for not only by their mothers, but also by other adult females in the group, and they stay with their mothers until they are nearly a year old, at which point the young proboscis monkeys tend to remain in the group, And younger males will leave to join. bunch of bachelors

Although proboscis monkey troops tend to remain fairly stable, it is not uncommon for both males and females to move to another troop. Proboscis monkeys can live up to 20 years in the wild and do not breed until they are at least 4 years old.

diet and prey

While proboscis monkeys are technically omnivorous, most of their diet consists of tough mangrove leaves plucked from surrounding trees.

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That's because they're leaf-eating monkeys, so proboscis monkeys have a large, swollen stomach made up of chambers containing specialized cellulose-digesting bacteria that help break down leaves.

However, this is a very slow process, meaning the proboscis monkey's stomach is usually full, holding up to a quarter of the individual's total body weight.

Proboscis monkeys supplement their diet by eating other plant matter (including buds, seeds, and unripe fruit) and the occasional passing insect, and do so primarily in trees, preferring not to descend to the ground.

Predators and Threats

crocodile with open mouth
Proboscis monkeys are preyed upon by crocodiles.

©Audrey Snider-Bell/Shutterstock.com

Because proboscis monkeys are large and live almost exclusively in trees, there are few real predators in their natural environment, with the exception of clouded leopards, which prey on proboscis monkeys when they are forced to the ground.

They are also predated by crocodiles in the water, but humans are the biggest threat to this unique animal. Not only have proboscis monkeys lost large swathes of their natural habitat to deforestation, but they also don't adapt well to life near human activity and are thus pushed to smaller, more isolated parts of their native range.

Interesting Facts and Features

The proboscis monkey spends most of its life very close to water and is an accomplished swimmer, with partially webbed feet that help it both paddle through the water and walk on slippery river banks. Proboscis monkeys are agile in trees and can jump into water from heights of up to 50 feet!

The nose of male proboscis monkeys can grow so large that it hangs over the mouth and has to be pushed aside to eat, however, when calling, the nose straightens, which is thought to make the monkey's voice echo Larger, this impresses mature females and intimidates rival males in the area.

The large noses of male proboscis monkeys also become red and swollen when the individual is angry or excited.

Want to know more interesting facts about proboscis monkeys? Read: "10 Incredible Facts About Proboscis Monkeys."

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relationship with humans

Female proboscis monkey, Labuk Bay near Sandakan

© Wendy Bird – Copyright AZ Animals

Proboscis monkeys were once hunted by locals because they were considered a delicacy in some areas, but the situation is slightly helped by the ban on capturing and killing these unique animals.

Human impacts on proboscis monkeys, however, have been far greater, mainly through clearing of forests in their natural habitat for logging, development of human settlements and land clearing for palm oil plantations, which has led to a dramatic increase in the species' numbers over the past few years. Declining especially for decades.

However, they are of great fascination to many people around the world and have generated tourist interest in certain areas.

Protect the status quo and life today

Today, the proboscis monkey is listed as endangered in its natural environment by the IUCN and may face extinction in the near future if better conservation measures are not taken.

The population is thought to have declined by as much as 80% over the past 30 years and is continuing to decline. There are thought to be around 7,000 proboscis monkeys in the wild today, with very few proboscis monkeys in captivity because they do not respond well to captive conditions.

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Proboscis monkeys belong to the animal kingdom.

Proboscis monkeys belong to the class Mammalia.

Proboscis monkeys belong to the phylum Chordate.

Proboscis monkeys belong to the Proboscis monkey family.

Proboscis monkeys are primates.

Proboscis monkeys are covered with fur.

The proboscis monkey belongs to the genus Nosed Monkey.

Proboscis monkeys live in Borneo.

Proboscis monkeys live in coastal mangroves and riverine forests.

The average number of cubs for a proboscis monkey is 1.

The scientific name of the proboscis monkey is Nasalis larvatus.

Proboscis monkeys can live 15 to 20 years.

Small proboscis monkeys are called babies.

There are 2 species of proboscis monkeys.

The biggest threat to the proboscis monkey is habitat loss.

Proboscis monkeys are also known as proboscis monkeys.

There are only 7,000 proboscis monkeys left in the world.

Proboscis monkeys can travel at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.