Monday, January 24, 2011

Zoosday Tuesday

***The opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone and are not endorsed by the Kansas City Zoo***


This is another one of the amazing animals found exclusively in Indonesia, and only on the island of Borneo. Although their nose is the most prominent feature, take a look at this guys eyes. And how about that tummy.

No, I'm not pregnant

This is a fairly large species of monkey, with the males weighing 53 lbs and females about half their size. The females also have much smaller noses. The male's nose can be up to 7 inches long and are used to attract females and amplify warning calls through the forest.  (Yes, in the proboscis world size matters, the bigger the nose, the bigger the... harem for the male.) One male usually controls a harem of 2-6 females and their offspring. They live in social groups in the mango forests of Borneo.
A male and his harem

The babies are born much darker in color than the adults. They start out a blue/black color and gradually change to the rusty red color of the adults.

Baby Proboscis
The Indonesian people once called this monkey Orang Belanda which means The Dutchman, because the primates long nose and round belly reminded them of European colonists.

Toxic Leaves
The round belly of the proboscis monkey is a result of it's digestive system which consists of multiple chambers that contain various bacteria, allowing them to consume toxic leaves and other plants high in cellulose.
30" tail

They also have a long non-prehensile tail which is used mainly for balance. They are equally at home in the trees or in water, being able to swim long distances, as well as leap long distances in the trees.

But sadly even though they are a versatile species, they are severely endangered. There are only an estimated 1000 left in the wild. They are threatened by the same problems that plague other Indonesian species like Orangutans, Elephants, Rhinos, etc. Habitat loss due to the inefficient management of palm oil production is driving more and more species toward extinction. So look for Orangutan safe palm oil, and you'll be helping their cousins the proboscis monkey's too.


  1. Awww I love how the babies start off all adorable blue/black and then grow into this gorgeous rusty ginger colour!! Best of all is the name the Indonesians gave them because these fab monkeys looked like the European colonists!! LOL!! Wonderful!!

    It's so depressing how financial considerations are driving these poor animals to the edge of extinction. These quick cash crops may yield short term profit but are ultimately detrimental long term for the countries who adopt such schemes once the eco-system is ruined. It's very sad.

    Take care

  2. 7 inches? I had no idea that their noses could grow so big.

  3. Interesting stuff. I do have to say, they look like some kind of character from Sesame Street. It's sad that they are at risk of extinction.

  4. There are some seriously funny looking monkeys in the world! It's amazing how such a cute baby can grow such a crazy nose!