Well, what can we say about this obscure primate. The proboscis Monkey is without doubt, one of the more bizarre and kooky looking tree dwellers in the jungle. It’s recognisable by its oversized, bulbous proboscis or nose, which occurs in the adult male. Its monstrous honker can measure up to 10cm long and hangs down over the monkey’s mouth. Feeding can be an issue with a sniffer like this, and often the cheeky primate will have to move its olfactory nerves to one side it order to eat more easily.
These odd looking relatives of ours have a favourite food source which is flowers, though they also eat fruit and water plants. Most of their water consumption is from the foods they eat, but they do also drink rainwater from places it has collected, and will lick due off leaves.
Males can measure up to 70cm long from the head to the rump, with a tail of about the same length. They can weigh up to 22kgs. The females are 60cm long, and weight about 12kgs.
Once a female reaches the age of four and the males four or five, they are ready to DO IT! There is no real breeding season, though most youngies tend to be born when food is rich and plentiful. Unlike most other mammal societies, it is the female that does all the work in terms of attracting the males attention. When she has targeted a suitable dude, she purses her lips at him and will shake her head from side to side. If the male is into it, he will reply with some pouting, then it’s on. Five and a half months after that session, a single young Proboscis Monkey is born. The baby weighs in at 14 ounces or 0.4kgs and measures 20cms. The baby is quite developed at birth, with the ability to support itself with its arms. It has a bright blue face initially which fades after a few months.
Proboscis Monkeys are active during the day and live in the mangrove swamps of Borneo. They spend most of their time in trees. They are extremely agile creatures and can move through trees at great speed. Proboscis Monkeys are also very good swimmers, often descending the waters of the swamp below.
Proboscis Monkeys once existed in large numbers throughout Borneo, but the usual hunting and deforestation has, like most other species of non-human on earth, lead to dwindling numbers.
An interesting fact about the Proboscis Monkey is that it cannot digest ripe fruit, although green fruits and seeds are generally on the menu.
WATCH THESE BIG NOSES IN ACTION!
Images: Les & Sussie (Flickr)