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About Author: Julie Krajewski

Posts by Julie Krajewski

13

New Additions To Our Langur Troop

At birth, silvered leaf langur babies are bright orange.

At birth, silvered leaf langur babies are bright orange.

Our silvered leaf langur troop has recently grown with the addition of two vibrant infants: Bakau, born on December 8, 2014 and Devi, born on March 10, 2015. They are easy to spot as langur babies are born bright orange! As they grow they will slowly change to the silvery gray color of the adults, a process that can take three to five months.

Langurs perform allomothering, where others in the group will frequently carry a baby, allowing the mother time to eat and rest. This behavior also lets younger females practice their parenting skills before raising their own infants. It is thought that the babies are born orange to attract attention and encourage group members to offer care. Our babies are so popular in the troop that even the males and all the youngsters want to carry them!

At over three months old, Bakau is already beginning to turn gray. His hands, feet, and head show a lot of gray hair and his orange coloring has become paler. The contrast is very apparent when compared to newborn Devi and his vibrant orange color. Bakau grows more independent every day and can often be seen climbing around on his own and wrestling with his siblings. Little Devi has yet to venture of off his mom, but it won’t be long before he joins in the fun.

The youngsters—and the whole troop—can be seen at the San Diego Zoo, in their special habitat located next to the orangutans and siamangs.

5

Silvered Leaf Langurs: Active Monkeys

Watch the antics of the Zoo's silvered leaf langurs!

Watch the antics of the Zoo’s silvered leaf langurs!

If you have yet to see our silvered leaf langurs, make sure to view them on your next visit to the San Diego Zoo. This group of 13 monkeys moved into its exhibit in June. They can be found in the glass building next to the orangutans.

Silvered leaf langurs are native to Southeast Asia and get their name from their long, gray-white hair that gives them a silver appearance and from their leaf-based diet. Interestingly, baby langurs are born bright orange and don’t turn gray until they are three to five months old. This langur species is only found in six accredited zoos in the United States.

With 13 individuals, the San Diego Zoo houses the largest group of silvered leaf langurs in the country. It is a very dynamic group, with ages ranging from 10 months to 31 years old. Four of the monkeys are less than three years old, and they can frequently be seen playing, chasing each other, wrestling, and swinging from the tails of the adults. The group members spend their days alternating between rest periods and feeding and playing.

If you walk by and the exhibit appears empty, be sure to look up. Their favorite place to sleep is at the very top of their climbing structures. If you catch them while they are sleeping, be sure to visit again later. The antics of these playful langurs are not to be missed!

Julie Krajewski is a keeper at the San Diego Zoo.