Silver Leaf Monkeys





Silver leaf Monkeys are also known as silvered langurs. There are quite a number of leaf monkey specie in tropical zones around the world and Bukit Melawati (Melawati Hill) is home for this particular species scientifically known as Trachypithecus cristatus of sub-family Cercopithecidae.

In Malay language, the leaf monkeys in general are locally known as "lutung" or "lotong" (not to be mistaken with "lontong" which is a type of delicacy) although it is rather hard to hear such name reference anymore.

These leaf monkeys are docile and adorable creatures and should not be mistaken with the fearless long-tailed macaques which often seen raiding opened dust bins and scampering kitchen for leftover food. Leaf monkeys, as the name would suggest, are arboreal or tree-dwelling. They feed on young leaves, tree shoots and wild fruits.

It is rather easy to identify the leaf monkeys. Apart from their arboreal attribute and docile nature, they spot an entirely dark or silvery grey colour throughout their bodies. They can grow up to 6.5kg in weight depending on their age and gender. The leaf monkeys are often seen in groups of 6-10, although some literatures have put a colony of leaf monkeys to consist anywhere between 15-28 members.

Naturally, there will be an alpha male in each colony which is supposedly responsible to safeguard his group from any predators. In general, taking photographs of these adorable creatures are fairly easy, although I did exercise some cautions, just in case. Silver leaf monkeys are not known to attack human beings, yet they might be somewhat perturbed by the lenses and camera flashes that could turn them in defensive modes.

Another unique characteristic of these langurs is that their infants spot a bright orange colour that will last for about three months before their silvery grey colours begin to become dominant. I got the chance to catch a glimpse of a new-born infant in such contrasting colour clinging to its mother.


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