BETTER TO SMELL YOU WITH, MY DEAR!
There are members of the animal world that have a phenomenal sense of smell. Some of them are surprising, and some not so surprising. The number one sniffer goes to the African Elephant, but did you know that the cow, the rat, and the Chinese Soft-shell Turtle, also make it onto the top ten list? However, they’re not the subjects of today’s post. Today we are taking a look at an animal that has the most unusual nose, and you would think that with his schnoz, he would be on the list. He didn’t make it. Let’s take a look at, and learn a little about the Proboscis Monkey.
Photo credit: www.cookusart.com
Unlike the animals listed above, who use their noses for smell, the Proboscis Monkey uses his for a totally different reason—for attracting mates. You might not think his nose is attractive, but out there somewhere in the jungles of Borneo (an island in Southeast Asia), is a lovely female Proboscis Monkey that absolutely adores it.
Our friend, the Proboscis Monkey, loves water. He does not stray from the rivers and mangrove forests on the island of Borneo. He is, by far, the best swimmer of all the primates. They actually love to jump from trees into the water. They have evolved webbed feet and hands, which make them very fast swimmers. This is a good thing because their main predator is the crocodile. Therefore, their ability to swim and leap helps them survive.
They are among the largest of the primates. The male Proboscis Monkey can weight up to fifty pounds. The females will grow only half that size. They subsist on leaves, seeds and fruits. Once in a while they will eat an insect or two.
According to the IUCN*, the Proboscis Monkey is endangered. Their major threat is one that we are very familiar with; habitat destruction. Man has cleared acres of forest for timber and the construction of palm oil plantations. Laws now protect them, and although land has been set aside to safeguard this species, along with Orangutans, and Asian Elephants, the need for more land is vital to their survival.
Photo credit: Tim Laman
Here’s a great video for you. You’ll see them swimming, leaping and hear them call out a warning. Enjoy!
To learn more about this unusual and endangered primate, visit the following sites:
*IUCN = International Union for Conservation of Nature
Please stop by again next week for a look at another unusual animal.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!