odd animal profile: proboscis monkey

Hey, you’ve got something on your nose. No, really.

The proboscis monkey is one of the more interesting looking primates, due to it’s very unique nose. The protruding sniffer is found on both sexes, though the male’s is much more pronounced, and can even hang down past its mouth. But you wouldn’t believe what their juveniles look like.

Photo by Arkive
Photo by Arkive

The proboscis monkey is born with a bright blue face and a teeny tiny protruding nose. Their colorations change as they mature and the adults have a pinkish face with light brown to red fur.

Photo by omgtoptens.com
Photo by omgtoptens.com

Proboscis monkey’s are also known as ‘Dutch monkey’ by the locals of Borneo, where the primate is found. They attained this nickname by the local villagers who were mocking the Dutch intruders who took the island of Borneo as a territory and owned many plantations across the island.

Photo by Helene Blanchette
Photo by Helene Blanchette

Proboscis monkeys are leaf-eaters and arboreal. Scientists are not entirely sure what purpose the large schnoz serves, but is thought to be a form of sexual selection with females preferring males with larger noses because it may enhance their vocalizations.

Proboscis monkeys are endangered for the same reason that Orangutans are. Much of their forest home is being destroyed for things like palm oil.

Photo by Edventure Project
Photo by Edventure Project
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