Evolution gone mad

Just come back from another afternoon trip to see Borneo’s natural wonders.

This time was to see a sanctuary created by a plantation owner for the crazy looking proboscis monkeys otherwise known as long-nosed monkeys or Dutch monkey – the Malay thought that they looked like the Dutch colonials with their big bellies and big noses.

We arrived a good hour before the designated feeding time although the big-conked ones did seem to know that their sugar-free pancakes were coming, with 10 or so just hanging around the viewing area. This gave us time to admire a huge eagle, a swimming lizard and also the start of an invasion from a large number of silvered leaf monkeys.

Feeding time arrived, and a massive alpha proboscis male bounded down the viewing platform heading straight towards the gathered tourists. Fortunately, it then saw the pancakes and proceeded to cause havoc amongst the 40 of its own kind. For the next hour we just stood and stared at all the wildlife feeding away, including gibbons who made an appearance at the end of the feeding.

So, why have proboscis monkeys evolved to have such big noses? Answers on a postcard to the usual address please.

4 thoughts on “Evolution gone mad

  1. Special prize to Gail for the answer, as always in nature, it seems all related to sex or death, the former in this case!

  2. Well, you know what they say about men with big noses, or is it men with big feet? (I should check that out!!) Anyway, the male proboscis monkey’s nose is much bigger than the females and the larger his nose the more attractive he is to females…

  3. Ah, a reference to the mackem monkey man. Thought as much when I first saw them, but no prize yet Mr. S.

  4. Because Peter Reid doesn’t a big nose – thus ruining a great football song.

    (Eat your heart out Darwin – this evolution stuff is easy if you think about it)

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