Nosach - monkey of the island of Borneo: appearance, habits, life cycle


Nature has created different types of monkeys, their names are sometimes very unusual and even funny. Take, for example, a species of primates from the family of monkeys called nosach, or kahau. The Greek name of the nose is proboscis, which means "trunk." You can immediately guess that monkeys with such a name are extremely nosy, of course, they are far from having an elephant trunk, but still the nose is of a large size. In some representatives of this species it is so large that during the meal it interferes with eating, therefore its owner is forced to maintain his dignity. These amazing animals are on the verge of extinction, they are listed in the Red Book.

Nosach (monkey): description

If you look from the side at the male nose, this sight is quite funny. The fact is that he is very similar to a man who abuses alcohol. Judge for yourself: a relaxed posture, hands lie limply on their knees, a big shapeless nose, lowered to a fat belly, as they say in the people. Photos of this "handsome" now in front of you.

Only males can boast of a huge nose. It is their very large long nose, which resembles a cucumber. The size of such "manhood" reaches a length of 10 centimeters or more. When the beast gets angry or is excited by something, its nose grows and reddens. Females and young animals do not have such a prominent decoration, their noses can be called snub-nosed rather than long.

Nosach (monkey) is of medium size, with the length of the tail equal to the length of the whole body, which is approximately 70-75 cm. The females are slender than the "men", their body length is 60-65 cm with an average weight of 10 kg. Males weigh about 20 kg.

In adult monkeys, the backs are covered with short, but very thick hair. The color may be reddish brown, bright orange, yellowish brown or brick red. A fat belly is usually light gray with a yellowish tinge. Males are easy to distinguish from females, not only on the big nose, they have a dark brown mane on their backs.

Environment and habitats of noses

The island of Borneo is included in the list of those places on Earth that beckon to them with its wild beauty. The tropical forests are inhabited by amazing representatives of the animal world. Kachau also live in this wonderful place. These monkeys in nature live only in Malaysia, they are located here on the coasts and valleys. Nosachi do not live above 200 m above sea level. The favorite places of these animals are mangrove and dipterocarp forests, they can also be found on the Hevea plantations.

Monkey life in the wild

Monkeys-nosachas seem to be plump and cumbersome, but that is until you see how cleverly they travel through the trees. The animals perfectly jump from branch to branch, swaying on their arms, sometimes even walking on two legs like people.

The monkeys do their daily chores in the afternoon, their “working day” ends with the first twilight. Sleep nosachi are arranged on trees, chosen in advance, without departing from the river further than 15 m.

One group of nosed monkeys has from 10 to 30 animals. The leader is the eldest male, there are about 8-10 females in his harem, the rest of the family are the babies and young people who have not reached puberty. Males ready for mating should leave the family, while young females remain. Sometimes only males who have not acquired their harem gather in one flock.

The life span of a monkey under good conditions can be about twenty years.

What eats monkey nosach?

The main fodder of the nosachi is young leaves and fruits, in search of which they pass a day up to two kilometers. According to the observations of scientists, animals of this species consume about 47 species of plants, of which 30 are leaves, and 17 are shoots, flowers or fruits. Based on this, we can conclude that there is no special competition between groups of monkeys, as there is enough food for everyone.


Nosach (monkey) reaches puberty at the age of one and a half years. When the mating period comes, the female demonstrates his readiness to the male with all her appearance. She sticks out her lips while shaking her head and shows her genitals to the object of adoration.

Pregnancy lasts about six months. One baby is born, with a blue face and a snub nose. The cub feeds on the mother's milk until the age of seven months; after weaning, the little monkey stays with the mother for some time.

Population reduction

As mentioned earlier, the noses live in the wild only in Borneo in Southeast Asia. The local authorities are making a lot of efforts to preserve this species of animals, but even this cannot stop a significant reduction in the Kahau population. According to scientists, there are fewer than three thousand little animals all over the world with amazing noses.

It's all about human activity. Monkeys live in tropical forests, which lately have been slowly but surely disappearing from the face of the Earth. It would seem that quite recently the islands of Borneo were covered with mangrove and rain forests, but now most of them are sometimes destroyed or completely destroyed. About a hundred years ago, people still did not settle Borneo en masse. At that time, one could freely observe numerous herds of noses. But with the arrival of people, the swamps were drained, the monkeys simply had nowhere to live, with the result that they were on the verge of extinction.

Interesting facts from the life of nosachy

Nosach - a monkey is very interesting, watching her life in its natural environment, you can see a lot of interesting facts. Some of them are presented to your attention:

• Nosachi are excellent swimmers, they can swim up to 20 meters under the water, in search of food they very often have to cross the river.
• Nosy monkeys, unlike their other relatives, do not get along with humans.
• Nosachi can not live far from water. According to scientists, the reason for this is the low content of minerals and salts in the soils that are far from the seas and rivers, the plants growing there are not suitable for feeding these animals.
• Aboriginal people in many parts of Borneo call monyet belanda nosachi, which means "Dutch monkey". And this name appeared because of the similarity of the Nosachas with the Dutch colonialists, who have large bellies and red noses, noticed by the locals.

Nose Description

Relative to other monkeys, noses have a medium sized body.. The weight of males is 20 kg with a body length of 73-76 cm, females are lighter and smaller: with a weight of 10 kg, their body length is about 60-65 cm. Regardless of the floor, the tail of animals is approximately equal in length to the body.

But the main characteristic external distinction of adult males, who gave the name to the species, is a pear-shaped hanging nose, the length of which can reach 10 cm. The opinions of zoologists are divided as to the purpose of the sense of smell organ with this bizarre form.

  • According to one version, a significant increase in size and redness of the nose of an angry nose - a means of intimidating the enemy.
  • It is also possible that the nose plays the role of a kind of resonator, amplifying the volume of the Kahau shout. Sounding out about their own presence in a particular territory, monkeys label it in such an unusual way.
  • It is also likely that the size of the nose plays a role when the females choose a mature partner during the mating season.

Having a big hanging nose is the privilege of only males. In females and juveniles, the organ of smell is not only smaller, but also has a different shape: these are piquantly upturned triangular noses. The bare skin on the face of monkeys has a yellowish-red pigmentation. The back of an adult animal is covered with short thick hair. It is usually painted in a reddish-brown gamut with orange, yellowish, ocher, brown shades. The abdomen is covered with light gray or light beige wool.

In addition to the nose and the impressive rounded abdomen, there are other differences in the appearance of the males from the females - a leathery cushion covered with an awning hair, forming a rather voluminous collar around the neck, and a spectacular dark mane along the spine. The limbs in relation to the body look disproportionately stretched and dry, covered with light gray wool. The tail, as well as the paws, is tenacious, muscular, but the nose is almost never used.

The appearance of the clumsy luzhnee is deceptive: in fact, the Kahau are able to very cleverly move through the trees, swaying on the forelimbs and pulling up the rear, thus moving from branch to branch. Most of the time monkeys spend there. Only the need for water or a particularly attractive delicacy on the ground makes them go down. Nosachi lead a daily life, spend the night in the crowns of trees, which were chosen in advance near the river bank

It is interesting! To overcome a small distance at the transitions, kahau can go on the hind limbs. And they can swim like a dog, helping themselves with their hind legs, equipped with membranes. These are the only monkeys that can dive: they are able to overcome a distance of up to 20 meters under water.

Noses live in groups of 10 to 30 individuals.. Moreover, it can be a purely "men's club", and a harem of 8-10 females, headed by an adult male. The remaining members of the mixed group are non-mature offspring (if any). By their nature, nosachi are quite good-natured and rarely show aggression, especially inside the pack. Animals communicate with each other not only with the help of facial expressions, but also with bizarre sounds.

Quarrels and conflicts between family members arise very rarely and quickly extinguished: the attempts of the harem ladies to make a scandal are immediately stopped by the soft, nasal sound that the leader makes. From time to time, “power coups” may occur in a flock. The young and stronger male becomes the main one, driving the competitor away, depriving him of his former privileges and even of his offspring. In such cases, the mother of the dead cub also leaves the pack.

Attempts to tame the nose has not yet succeeded. Researchers point to their low ability to socialize, poor learning. For this reason, there is no data on the longevity of noses in captivity. In the wild, monkeys live for about 20 years, if they have not previously become prey to enemies. In general, this period is determined by the quality and quantity of food supply in the distribution area.


The riverside and coastal plains of the island of Borneo are the only place on Earth where you can meet nocturnal monkeys. As habitats, they most often choose marshy mangroves, vast areas of dipterocarpic forests with their evergreen giant trees, hevea plantations adjacent to peat bogs.

It is interesting! Nosaty monkeys, choosing places for their settlements, prefer the banks of fresh water bodies and rivers. It is assumed that this is due to a certain content of minerals and salts in the soil, which is characteristic of this area and is an important forming condition of the nasach feeding system.

In an area located above sea level above 200-350 m, kahau can hardly be seen.

Ration nosacha

The basis of the nosed monkey menu is:

  • young leaves of trees
  • edible shoots
  • flowers with sweet nectar
  • fruits, preferably unripe.

Less commonly, this "vegetarian cuisine" is complemented by insect larvae, caterpillars, small invertebrates. The search for food Kahau begin by the river, gradually delving into the forest and moving along the aft site. To get enough, they sometimes walk several kilometers a day, and only in the evening they return to their habitat.

Natural enemies

There are no large mammal predators in Borneo. The main enemies of the nosachas are the giant ridged crocodiles living in mangrove swamps, sea lagoons, in the lower reaches and river deltas. They lie in wait and attack monkeys when they cross the river. For this reason, the nosachi, despite the fact that they are great swimmers, try to make the transition in the narrowest place of the water area.

Important! Smoky leopards that live on land do not pose a big threat to noses: the population of these predators is very small, and they also prefer to hunt larger prey - goats, deer, wild pigs.

Much more often kahau fall victims of large monitor lizards and pythons, sea eagles. Poaching is also a certain danger for them: a person pursues a nose fish because of tasty meat and beautiful thick fur.

Population and species status

The rapid reduction of the area of ​​rain forests, the cutting of mangroves, the drainage of wetlands, the cultivation of oil palm on fertile plains led not only to a noticeable change in the climatic conditions of Borneo.

The habitat of noses, which, moreover, are losing the competitive struggle for territorial and food resources to the aggressors, the long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, has also decreased. These factors, as well as the poaching on the island, which flourished on the island, led to the fact that the number of the species over the past half century has decreased by half and today hardly exceeds 3000 individuals.

It is interesting! Not far from the town of Sandakan there is a reserve Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you can see noses in natural conditions. The history of this place is remarkable.

The current owner of the reserve in the 1990s acquired a large area of ​​mangrove forest for the cultivation of oil palm. Seeing the noses living there, the owner of the plantation was literally fascinated by unusual monkeys. He wanted to know everything about their lifestyle and behavior. Upon learning that the animals were on the verge of extinction, he changed his original plans.

Now, instead of an oil palm plantation, the territory is occupied by a natural forest park, where about 80 noses live. The place is extremely popular with tourists who have the opportunity to observe the monkeys from a convenient wide area, surrounded by several platforms. Twice a day, reserve keepers bring baskets with a favorite nosach delicacy - unripe fruits. By this time, the monkeys, already accustomed to regular treats, emerge from the forest undergrowth into the open space.

According to eyewitnesses, they are not only not at all afraid of people, but also willingly participate in photo shoots, posing against the backdrop of the bright green of the jungle. The Malaysian government, preoccupied with the ecological situation in Borneo as a whole, is taking measures aimed, among other things, at protecting against the complete extinction of the unusual and amazing nosach monkeys: the species is listed in the ISC and is protected in protected areas.

Description of the species

A nosed monkey belongs to primates of medium size, depending on the sex, their weight does not exceed 20 kg, and the body length is no more than 78 cm. Thus, the average weight of females is 8-10 kg with a body length of 55-65 cm. In turn, the male weighs 15-20 kg, body length - 73-78 cm. As a rule, the tail, regardless of gender, is equal to body length.

The main feature of male primates is a large pear-shaped nose, lowered down, its size can be up to 10 cm in length. Sometimes this organ causes a lot of inconvenience while eating, and the monkey is forced to support it. In the study of the olfactory abilities of the nose and its purpose, the opinions of experts are divided.

Some argue that during quarrels with other primates, an increasing in size, reddening nose frightens the enemy.
According to others, thanks to the huge olfactory organ, the monkeys are capable of shouting louder, it is with a cry that the animal announces its presence in any territory, thus marking it.

Still others say that it is in the size of the nose that the female chooses the most mature male for itself during the mating period.

The hanging nose is a characteristic feature of males only; in females and young primates, the smaller olfactory organ is upturned, raised, triangular in shape. The skin on the face is smooth without a coat, with pale red pigmentation. The back of a mature primate is covered with short hair. Its color can be dark, in brown-red or deep orange tones, or light, bright yellow or ocher. Wool on belly has light beige or pale gray color.

In addition to the nose, large abdomen and size, there are several external differences between males. Around the neck of the male hair grows much thicker, forming a kind of collar, and along the entire length of the spine there is a thick, dark mane. Regarding the body, the limbs appear lean and elongated, they are evenly covered with light gray wool. The primate tail is strong and tenacious, however, it is practically not used, unlike muscular paws.


At first glance, the nose makes an impression of a hulking lump, but this is a misconception. Monkeys are very agile and easily move from tree to tree, they grab the branch with their front paws, swing and jump over, pulling up the hind limbs. Большую часть дня они проводят на верхушке деревьев, иногда спускаясь вниз за водой или особым лакомством. Наибольшая активность животного наблюдается во второй половине дня. Ночью прячутся в кронах деревьев.

Примечательно, что только этот вид обезьян умеет нырять, более того, проплывать под водой до 20 метров. On the hind limbs, they have membranes that help monkeys swim on the surface of the water. From birth, the female teaches a baby to water procedures.

In addition, only 2 species of primates, including the nose, can easily move on the hind limbs, as a rule, they do it in dense forests, where it is difficult to pass on four legs.

Primates live in small groups of 10 to 30 individuals. Sometimes it includes only males or vice versa - females headed by a mature male, but more often they are mixed flocks. Nosachi are considered a good-natured species of monkeys, they can be aggressive only in defending their territory, conflicts in a flock happen extremely rarely. Between themselves, the communication of animals occurs with the help of unusual sounds or facial expressions.

Quarrels in mixed groups are almost excluded, in female flocks occur, albeit rarely. As soon as the conflict between the females matures, the leader abruptly stops him, emitting a nasal sound. There are cases when a younger and more belligerent male in the struggle for power expels the leader of the pack and destroys his offspring, in which case the mother of the killed cubs must also leave the group.

All attempts by zoologists to tame Kahau failed, this is due to their poor adaptation and low ability to learn. Therefore, there is no information about the duration of their life in captivity. In the conditions of life in nature, the nose lives for about 20 years, as a rule, it depends on food and habitat.


The coastal areas and lowlands of the Borneo Islands are habitats of nocturnal monkeys. Peatlands, dipterocarp forests, wetlands with mangroves are preferred settlement zones for them. In addition, the monkeys do not rise in areas located above 250 m above sea level, the ideal place for them - the coastline along any reservoirs with fresh water.

The most common diet nosach monkeys are:

  • just the blooming leaves of the trees,
  • young shoots
  • flowers,
  • unripe fruit.

In general, about 47 names of plants.

It is extremely rare for primates to eat the larvae of tree insects, beetles and caterpillars. This squad of monkeys has a volumetric stomach, in order to be filled, they sometimes have to walk several kilometers a day, returning to the place of settlement only late in the evening. They begin to look for food near the banks of the rivers and gradually move deep into the forest.

Nosach avoids plants that contain a natural antibiotic and vice versa - can eat those that are poisonous. This fact is explained by the fact that the Kahau stomach contains bacteria capable of neutralizing poisons, but they die by the action of antibiotics.

Enemies of a nosed monkey

Less commonly, monkeys become prey to large snakes, eagles or monitor lizards. Despite the protection of the Kahau population, they continue to be hunted by poachers because of valuable fur and meat. The smoky leopards living in Borneo prefer to hunt cattle and almost never attack monkeys.

Kahau population

Deforestation, drainage of swamps and the cultivation of areas that once served as a habitat for monkeys, lead to a sharp reduction in their numbers. The remaining territories, possible for settlement, are occupied by a more aggressive species of long-tailed macaques. Places of the Kahau specimen attract the burgeoning poachers fishing. Over the past 50 years, the number of nosed monkeys has decreased by half, to date, their population is about 3000 individuals. The species is listed in the International Red Book as endangered.