Fun Proboscis Monkey Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Jan 17, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
Fun Proboscis Monkey Facts For Kids

The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is a long-nosed monkey and an arboreal Old World monkey that has an unusually large nose with reddish-brown skin and a long tail. The proboscis monkey is endemic to the southeast Asian island of Borneo and is commonly found in mangroves and the coastal areas there.

Proboscis monkeys favor mangrove, dipterocarp, and riverine forests and this species always stays close to a water source. It is possibly the most aquatic primate. A good swimmer, it is capable of swimming up to 66 ft (20m) underwater.

Also, the proboscis monkey is an arboreal primate and can move impressively by leaps. It jumps off branches and then descends into the water for a swim!

Proboscis monkeys are famous for the enormous, tongue-shaped noses of adult males, whilst juveniles and females have shorter, upturned noses. It has been suggested that the males' noses play a role in heat dissipation and it has also been said that it helps to improve the loud, resonant ‘honk’ calls that are made by males.

The size of the nose also conveys information about a male’s maturity and genetic quality.

If you liked reading facts about the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus), you can also check out some facts on other primates like the eastern lowland gorilla or the patas monkey.

Proboscis Monkey Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a proboscis monkey?

Proboscis monkeys are primates, they are known as one of the largest primate species from Asia and they are very social animals.

What class of animal does a proboscis monkey belong to?

Proboscis monkeys are primates that belong to the class Mammalia.

How many proboscis monkeys are there in the world?

It is said that there are around 7000 proboscis monkeys present in the world. Only a few of them are in captivity as they cannot live well in artificial conditions.

Where does a proboscis monkey live?

Proboscis monkeys live in Borneo. They never stay far from the rivers of the island, or swamps and coastal mangroves.

They are arboreal species but when they have to look for food, they land on the floor of the forests. They live in groups that normally have one dominant male and between two and seven females, as well as any of the females' young babies. At night, they often move closer to the water for sleeping.

This species is known to be the largest monkey species and it is native to Asia. The only other species that can put up a good fight against this species are Tibetan macaques and some gray langurs.

These monkeys love to live in groups and their preferred habitat consists of treetops in forests. During the breeding season, no two groups will meet, although an all-male group can co-exist with another group for the purpose of mating.

What is a proboscis monkey's habitat?

Living on the island of Borneo, the proboscis monkey is able to live in three countries (Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia) as the island is divided into these three countries. The habitat of this species consists of trees and water.

Water is an essential requirement for their survival and these monkeys don't like to live more than 0.62 miles (1 km) away from a water supply. As they live in trees, it is important that their habitat has lots of trees for them to jump on and from.

Who do proboscis monkeys live with?

Proboscis monkeys are known to live in groups as they have a social nature. In the group, there is one adult male, up to seven adult females, and their young. Other groups can also exist where there are only males present and some males will even lead a solitary life.

How long does a proboscis monkey live?

The lifespan of these monkeys is 20 years long.

How do they reproduce?

At the age of five, a female proboscis monkey becomes sexually mature and most mating takes place between the months of February and November. Eventually, their offspring are born in the months from March to May, meaning that the gestation period lasts between 166-200 days, sometimes more.

Young proboscis monkeys are normally born early in the morning or at night. After giving birth, the mothers clean their infants and eat the placenta.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, the proboscis monkey's conservation status comes under the category of Endangered animals. The total population of the proboscis monkey species has decreased by a whopping 50% in the past 40 years, according to a count in 2008.

This is due to the habitat loss that they have suffered. Palm oil plantations, logging, and hunting of these animals for their use in traditional Chinese medicine and as food have all resulted in a loss of the number of proboscis monkeys.

The largest populations of the proboscis monkey species can be found in Kalimantan.

In the areas of Brunei, Sarawak, and Sabah, the number is far fewer. In Borneo, there are now strict laws in place to protect this species in light of it Endangered conservation status.

Proboscis Monkey Fun Facts

What do proboscis monkeys look like?

The proboscis is known as the monkey with a  big nose and prominent head and shoulders. It is a primate animal that looks like just any other monkey in terms of its light color fur.

It is huge in size and has a big nose that covers its mouth. Females are half of the size of males and have smaller noses.

Young males start growing their noses slowly over time until they reach adulthood, when it stops growing. The habitat proboscis monkeys choose is the forest where they can live freely, near water.

Proboscis Monkey sitting on a tree

How cute are they?

They might appear cute, but they must be taken seriously. They can become really aggressive quite easily. They protect their group really agrressivle and can be very possessive of their habitat and fellow group members. They are territorial primates, after all. They are wild animals, and this should be kept in mind, even though they look very adorable.

How do they communicate?

When it comes to communicating, these monkeys are known to communicate using different vocalizations. Honks are emitted by males when they are talking to the whole group, and while communicating to infants, a special honk is used.

This honking is also used when they are reassuring each other after a threat. Male proboscis monkeys can give danger signals by producing alarm sounds that are different from those made by females.

Other than honking, they show some non-vocal displays as well. This includes bare teeth, open mouths, leaping, and branch shaking.

How big is a proboscis monkey?

If the proboscis monkey stands, its length can be up to 26-30 in (66-76.2 cm). This species of monkey is known to be huge and is considered the largest species of monkeys to exist in nature.

As the species is sexually dimorphic, males of this species are considerably larger than females.

In a group, any male monkey can have more than one female counterpart and these male monkeys not only are a bigger size but also have big noses, which females do not share. These monkeys are typically five times bigger than another average monkey!

How fast can a proboscis monkey run?

Even though these monkeys are known to have big bodies and and quite heavy, they can still run at a speed of 15 mph 24 kmph. This long-nosed monkey can jump through branches and treetops easily too! They are really territorial, especially when it comes to their females and their young.

How much does a proboscis monkey weigh?

Males of the proboscis monkey species are bigger in size than females. The weight of males can be up to 66 lb (30 kg) whereas females can weigh up to 33 lb (15kg), almost half the weight of males. This species needs to be heavily protected and conserved as they are now endangered animals with a decreasing population.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The proboscis monkey species has males and females just like any other species, but the names of females and males are not different.

What would you call a baby proboscis monkey?

A baby proboscis monkey is called an infant. An infant starts to eat solid foods when it is six weeks old and they are completely weaned by seven months of age.

The nose of a young male keeps growing slowly until they reach adulthood!

Proboscis monkey infants stay with their mothers for about one year, but mothers often let other members of the group hold their infant and help take care of it.

Young females will go on to live with the same group in which they were born, but males eventually leave their original herd and move on to a group that consists of just male proboscis monkeys.

What do they eat?

As the proboscis monkey is an herbivore, proboscis monkeys live on a diet of seeds, leaves, and unripe fruits. Sometimes, they might eat insects though. They have a complex stomach that has four chambers, which work together to help them digest anything they eat.

Are they loud?

Yes, the proboscis monkey is known to be a loud species as they live in mangrove forests. They are not only loud but also have various different vocal sounds. Young proboscis monkeys and female proboscis monkeys make a unique sound which is often known as a 'female call'. This sound is made when they are angry.

Would they make a good pet?

No, you are not allowed to keep them as pets. It is illegal to have proboscis monkeys as a pet as they belong in the wild and are a protected species.

Did you know...

An amazing fact that you might not know is that the stomachs of proboscis monkeys are divided into four chambers. They are divided in this way so that the food eaten by these primates can be digested properly.

There are different bacterias present in the different stomachs of these primates that help them to digest a wide range of foods.

As they are endangered species, there are various steps being taken to protect this species from predators.

How long can a proboscis monkey's nose grow?

The huge noses of these monkeys hang down on their faces over their mouths. They can sometimes grow of a length of 7 in (17.5 cm), extending past their chins.

Generally, the noses of these monkeys tend to grow up to 4 in (10 cm) long. A long male proboscis monkey nose demonstrates to female proboscis monkeys that the male has better genes. These noses also help males by amplifying the honking calls that these proboscis monkeys make.

Are proboscis monkeys good divers?

Proboscis monkeys spend the majority of their time near water. This gives them an advantage when it comes to swimming.

They are amazing at swimming and along with this, they are really good divers. They can easily dive into the water to protect themselves. As they have partially webbed feet and webbed fingers, it is much easier for them to swim.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including capuchin monkeys, or the Japanese macaque.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Proboscis monkey coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana Kantam picture

Spandana KantamBachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Acharya Nagarjuna University. She has a passion for writing and enjoys reading crime and thriller novels while listening to RnB music in her free time.

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