Odd-Looking Monkeys


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Out of all primates, proboscis monkeys could win the title of most odd-looking. With their pendulous noses, enormous bellies and seemingly velvet suit, this species is full of physical oddities.

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Photo Credit: Ged Caddick 

Proboscis monkeys’ stomachs are chambered into multiple sections, similar to a cow. Their bellies aren’t oversized because of overeating – they’re actually full of bacteria that helps digest foods like leaves, seeds and green fruit into energy.

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Proboscis actually means nose. Adult males have the largest and most droopy noses of all, sometimes growing to ten centimeters in length.

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Newborn proboscis monkeys have  bluish faces, soft and shaggy fur and upturned nostrils. 

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Adult proboscis monkeys display a velvety reddish brown and silver gray coat. 

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Mature males can be twice the size of females, and groups (called harems) can be observed in the wild playing, honking and feasting in forests along riverbanks. 

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An old world species, proboscis monkeys use their thick tails for balance as they jump, climb and careen through forests on the island Borneo. But these monkeys are also excellent swimmers, as they have partially webbed feet.

Proboscis monkeys are an endangered species – there may be less than 8,000 of these unusual-looking creatures left in the wild. 

View a monkey photo gallery and plan a trip to Borneo to observe endangered proboscis monkeys in their native habitat.

Interested in other unique animals? Animal Oddities airs Wednesday November 10 at 10P et/pt on Nat Geo Wild.

Photo Credits: Jodi Kendall, captured on a Terra Incognita ecotour in Borneo.