Friday, August 27, 2010
The Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is also known as the Monyet Belanda in Malay, the Bekantan in Indonesian or simply the Long-nosed Monkey. It is a reddish-brown arboreal Old World monkey that is endemic to the south-east Asian island of Borneo. It belongs in the monotypic genus Nasalis, although the Pig-tailed Langur has traditionally also been included in this genus - a treatment still preferred by some.
While the official Indonesian name for this monkey is Bekantan, an Indonesian nickname is 'monyet belanda', meaning 'Dutch monkey' or 'Orang Belanda', the Indonesian word for 'Dutchman', as Indonesians noticed the Dutch colonisers often also had a large belly and nose
A distinctive trait of this monkey is the male's large protruding nose, from which it takes its name. The big nose is thought to be used to attract females and is a characteristic of the males, reaching up to 7 inches in length. The females also have big noses compared to other monkey species, but not as big as the males. Besides attracting mates, the nose serves as a resonating chamber, amplifying their warning calls. When the animal becomes agitated its nose swells with blood, making warning calls louder and more intense.
Proboscis Monkey belong to the order of Primates, from the family Cercopithecidae and subfamily Colobinae (Bennett & Gomber, 1993). According to Bennett & Gomber (1993), in the Old World, these monkeys are divided into two groups known as cercopithecines and colobines. Proboscis Monkey are colobines. Males are much larger than females, weighing up to 24 kg (53 pounds) and reaching 72 cm (28 inches) in length, with a tail of up to 75 cm in length. Females are up to 60 cm long, weighing up to 12 kg (26 lb). This large sexual dimorphic difference is greater than in any other primate.
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