Bekantan monkeys have the scientific name Nasalis Larvatus as they are one of two species in the single genus of nasal monkeys. He is also known as Proboscis monkey. This is the endemic animal found in Kalimantan that has protrude long nose with reddish-brown hair.
People in Kalimantan are familiar with Proboscis monkeys as Dutch Apes, Kahau, Raseng and Pika. Brunei and Malaysia also have Proboscis monkeys. But, the amount is not as much as in Kalimantan.
The unique thing we should know that the baby Bekantan is born with blue facial skin which gradually turns grey for 2 to 3 months. Then, at the age of 8 months, the colour of face becomes normal peach-colored. This monkey is the original mascot of South Kalimantan. There is a giant 6.5-meter Proboscis monkey on the edge of the Martapura river, Banjarmasin.
Bekantan monkeys live along rivers and swamp mangrove forests together with Bornean Orangutan. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently lists the Proboscis monkey as endangered animal. The number of adult individuals continues to decline due to human development and habitat destruction.
The development of river banks and mangroves by humans has a significant impact on these monkeys as they rely on these places to maintain their daily survival. For more information about Proboscis monkey conservation, do visit Bali Safari & Marine Park.
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Characteristic of Proboscis Monkey
The dominant physical characteristic of proboscis monkey can be seen from the shape of its large nose and tufting down. The length of the male monkey’s nose reaches 10 cm with the nose hanging even lower than its mouth. Meanwhile, the size of the female nose is slightly smaller than the male. However, it is still a large nose size for monkeys. So, what are other physical and behavioral characteristics of Proboscis monkeys?
- Monkeys with reddish faces have large body weights up to 24 kilograms and 75 cms tall for males. Meanwhile, the female weighs 12 kilograms and 60 cms tall. The posture of Proboscis monkey commonly looks unique with a distended stomach. They have unbalanced eating behavior that makes their stomaches look like big bean bag. Proboscis eats seeds and fruit. When eating lots of leaves, proboscis’ stomach will be full of gas which can also make its stomach grow bigger.
- At first, the shape of Proboscis monkey was allegedly due to natural selection. Then, a number of studies were conducted to determine the function of Proboscis monkey’s length of nose. It has been recently been discovered that the nose of a male Proboscis monkey could be the instrument to help him to find a partner. The size of his nose compensates with his greater body mass. It will be better for him to attract female’s attention and do the sound resonance, too. So, the male proboscis monkeys can give codes to females if they are qualified and they have social dominance.
- The female proboscis monkeys like males’ large noses because they certainly have large testes with abundant sperm counts.
- Proboscis monkeys like to live together in groups. One group consists of 10 up to 30 individuals. The biggest and strongest monkey should be the leader of the group.
- The life of the Dutch monkey is mostly spent on the trees. They can also swim and dive well like professional human divers. They are sometimes seen swimming across rivers, and even swimming from one island to another.
- The forest fires and new land opening has caused the extinction of Proboscis monkeys. In 2008, there were only around 25,000 proboscis monkeys in Kalimantan. Even though in 80-90s, the number of proboscis monkeys even reached two hundred thousands.
So, if you want to see a variety of different types of animals, please visit Bali Safari Park, and choose the available package. For those of you who like to travel during the day can choose Leopard 4×4 Safari or Rhino 4×4 Safari packages, or other packages. Check it out.