Fun Dusky Leaf Monkey Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Dusky Leaf Monkey Facts For Kids

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Dusky leaf monkeys (langurs) are a group of primates belonging to the family of Old World monkeys resembling a spectacled langur monkey. Scientifically these mammals are recognized by the binomial name, Trachypithecus Obscurus. Though occasionally observed along with the ground of Singapore, dusky leaf monkeys, members of the Cercopithecidae family, primarily dwell in peninsular Malaysia. Besides the Malay Peninsula, the home range of the troop members belonging to leaf monkey species include Thailand, southern Myanmar, and islands such as Langkawi, Penang, and Perhentian Besar. With morphological dark gray fur, the dusky leaf adorns white patches along with their mouth and eyes. The white pattern along the eyes of Trachypithecus obscurus rewards these primates sporting eyeglasses look, which contributes to the epithet spectacled langur, or spectacled leaf monkey langurs. Furthermore, the species of dusky leaf monkey or spectacled langur monkey includes seven subspecies recognized and recorded under the biological genus Trachypithecus. Their favorite food consists mainly of leaves and some fruit. They use their hands to collect leaves and other food products.

Their primary habitat is in Myanmar, which includes the Kisseraing, James, and King Islands in the Mergui Archipelago along with Thailand (Dayang Bunting and Terutao Islands). Read on to discover and learn some interesting facts about these adorable monkeys/langurs of the old world. Afterward, do check our other articles on drill monkey facts and black spider monkey facts.

Fun Dusky Leaf Monkey Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Up to 18.3 lb (8.3 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

16.5-24.0 in (42-61 cm)

What do they look like?

Dark gray fur with white patches on the face along with the eyes and mouth, paler underparts, tail, and hind legs

Skin Type

Fur coverage

What were their main threats?

Hunting, Habitat Loss Due To Oil Palm Plantations

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Tree Canopy In A Dense Forest With Tall Trees


Myanmar, And Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia









Dusky Leaf Monkey Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dusky leaf monkey?

Dusky leaf monkeys or trachypithecus obscurus is a species of langur primates belonging to the family of Old World Monkeys. Particularly recognized for their peculiar looks, the dusky leaf monkey shows morphological differences in their adult and juvenile forms. In fact, prominent metamorphosis in terms of coloring is observed. Like most other members of Cercopithecidae, dusky leaf monkeys are tree-dwelling animals. Besides its species name and scientific nomenclature, dusky leaf langurs are also known by the nicknames spectacled leaf monkey and spectacled langur as well.

What class of animal does a dusky leaf monkey belong to?

Dusky leaf monkey or a dusky langur belongs to class Mammalia; that is, this langur species are of vertebrate organisms that are characterized by the presence of milk-producing mammary glands anatomically designed for the nourishment of their young ones. Besides this, the body of these organisms is generally covered with hair or fur. The neocortex, as well as the four-chambered heart, is also present.

How many dusky leaf monkeys are there in the world?

No exact details are available regarding the global population of dusky leaf monkeys. However, the populations of these leaf monkeys are listed under Endangered species on the conservation scale. Therefore the available data clearly points at the declining numbers of the Trachypithecus obscurus. The major reason for the threatened situation of the leaf monkey, or langurs of the old world, is cited to be the loss of habitat due to human interventions. However, not much is known about the same.

Where does a dusky leaf monkey live?

Dusky leaf monkey or Trachypithecus obscurus is the primary inhabitant of the Malay Peninsula, encompassing the topography of southern Burma and Thailand. The islands of Penang,  Langkawi and Perhentian Besar also serve as the habitat of spectacled langurs. Occasionally dusky leaf monkeys can be spotted residing in the tall trees of Singapore.

What is a dusky leaf monkey's habitat?

The habitat of a dusky leaf monkey or a dusky langur includes a wide range of tall trees, generally with dense covering biomes. These animals highly prefer the canopies, being ardent arboreal dwellers. However, dusky langur can also be located in secondary forests, that is, forests with average-sized trees.

Who do dusky leaf monkeys live with?

Constituting a group of social primates, the population of dusky langur trachypithecus obscurus is generally found in troops, including about 5 to 20 group members living in trees following strict social organization. The troops of the species are headed by one or more mature males in partnership with two or more mature females. Dusky leaf monkeys are diurnal primates. These animals exhibit active metabolism during the daytime returning to their roosts during the dark hours of the night.

How long does a dusky leaf monkey live?

There are no exact details about the longevity of dusky leaf monkeys living in the wilderness. However, as per available information in captivity, the average lifespan of these animals is known to be about 25 years.

How do they reproduce?

Since the dusky leaf monkey belongs to a group of primate mammals, the reproductive cycle in these monkeys begins with the onset of the estrus cycle, which lasts for about three weeks. As per available information, during estrus, swelling in adult females is observed. Dusky leaf monkeys have a polygynous mating system, wherein adult males compete for mating rights with each other. The breeding in spectacled leaf monkeys is rarely seasonal and can span over the winters as well as the summer seasons. Following fertilization, and gestation of about 145 days, females give birth to one to two offspring(s). A gap of two years is observed between the breeding cycle.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, dusky leaf monkeys have been categorized and recognized under the conservation status of Endangered species, owing to the small size of their population across the length and breadth of their habitat. Though not much is known, habitat loss actions such as cutting down of forests are assumed to be the major contributing reason fueling the decline of dusky leaf monkey.

Dusky Leaf Monkey Fun Facts

What do dusky leaf monkeys look like?

The body of the adult male dusky leaf monkey is generally covered with dark gray fur, and their face looks like it is sporting eyeglasses. However, a white range in shading can be observed alongside its tail length. The Dorsal anatomy of this leaf monkey ranges from shades of gray, black to brown, whereas the ventral parts, which include the legs and tails, are paler in tone. The facial region of the adult male trachypithecus obscurus is gray with white patches along with the eyes and mouth. The white pattern along their dark beady eyes accords these primates a bespectacled look. In contrast to the shading of adults, infants of the trachypithecus obscurus species possess yellow or orange-toned fur in combination with the pink facial regions. With maturity, metamorphosis in coloring is observed in the infants of these primates belonging to Old World monkeys. The dusky leaf monkey possesses well-developed fingers to facilitate better grasp while skimming through the trees. The tail in these monkeys can either be short and hairless or long and hairy.

The dusky leaf monkey has shades of gray and brown, but the front and tail are lighter in these monkeys.

How cute are they?

On a scale of five, the members of trachypithecus obscurus primate species can easily secure a five for their cute looks. The dusky complexion and coloration of these primates in a combination of the spectacled look due to white patches along with their beady black eyes grants these primates an absolutely unique and adorable look.

How do they communicate?

The communication channel in spectacled leaf monkeys includes visual, vocal, and olfactory senses. Sniffing, licking genitals, hoots, squeaks, and snorts are often observed as the means of communication and perception amongst the members of the species.

How big is a dusky leaf monkey?

The range of length reported amongst the members of Trachypithecus obscurus species is about 16.5-24 in (42-61 cm). The tail length range of this species is around 27.5-31.4 in (70-80 cm). They are about the same size as the Colobus monkey.

How fast can a dusky leaf monkey run?

There are no exact details about the running speed of dusky leaf monkeys. However, like most other primate monkeys, these leaf monkeys are agile animals skimming, climbing, and running gracefully from tree to tree. The fastest monkey is considered to be the patas monkey, which can run at the speed of 33 mph (53 kph).

How much does a dusky leaf monkey weigh?

As per available information, the average weight range of dusky leaf monkeys is about 18.3 lb (8.3 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names allotted to the members of trachypithecus obscurus species based on their sex. Male monkeys are generally referred to as adult male dusky leaf monkeys, while the females are known as adult female dusky leaf monkeys.

What would you call a baby dusky leaf monkey?

The babies of dusky leaf monkeys are referred to as infants, offspring, or juveniles.

What do they eat?

These leaf monkeys, belonging to the Old World, are known to survive on food like plant leaves, seedlings, fruits, and shoots of about 87 different species of trees. The diet and digestive system of these primates in captivity include food like shoots, sweet potato shoots, maize, fruits, green beans, cabbage, as well as insects, though occasionally.

Are they poisonous?

No, the members belonging to the dusky leaf monkey species are not poisonous and do not bite humans unless provoked.

Would they make a good pet?

Owing primarily to their declining population and endangered conservation status, the dusky leaf monkey would not make for good pet options. Besides, no matter the small sizes of these primates, these animals are not really meant for domestication.

Did you know...

Members of the dusky leaf monkey exhibit a resemblance to the antelopes in terms of the anatomical design of their stomach, which like that of antelope species, facilitates the digestion of cellulose found in the plant cell walls.

These animals more often collect leaves, shoots, and other types of food by hand.

During free time, these monkeys wrestle with each other or even pull each other's tail for fun.

Are dusky leaf monkeys endangered?

Yes, the members of dusky leaf monkey or Trachypithecus obscurus are listed as endangered on the conservation scale. Circumstances, such as hunting of these primates for pet trading, and loss of habitat, are known to be the driving forces, pushing the species towards a rapidly declining population.

How did the dusky leaf monkey get its name?

The members of trachypithecus obscurus acquired the species name dusky leaf monkey due to their ardent fondness of leaves. These primates are known to feed on the leaves of as many as 87 different plant species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these baboon facts and gibbon facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dusky leaf monkey coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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