Black snub-nosed monkey

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Introduction[edit]

Black snub-nosed monkey[1]
RhinopitecusBieti.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Rhinopithecus
Species:
R. bieti
Binomial name
Rhinopithecus bieti
Black Snub-nosed Monkey area.png
Black snub-nosed monkey range
Black snub-nosed monkey. Photo taken by Rod Waddington.

The Black snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), also known as the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, is a large black and white primate that lives only in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan,[3] where it is known to the locals as the Yunnan golden hair monkey (滇金丝猴) and the black golden hair monkey (黑金丝猴).[citation needed]. Coniferous and deciduous forests in the mountainous regions of Yunnan are the ideal terrain for these primates.[4] It is threatened by habitat loss, and is considered an endangered species. With their unique adaptations to their environment, these monkeys thrive at extreme altitudes albeit the below freezing temperatures and thin air.[5] This primate's diet is mainly made up of the large amounts of lichens available in their region. Recent studies have provided more information on the Black snub-nosed monkey, but there is still much to learn about them.

Anatomy and physiology[edit]

Male and female Black snub-nosed monkeys have no colorization differences, but do differ in sizes. Females weigh 20lbs, while males are around 30lbs.[6] Adult Black snub-nosed monkeys are identifiable by their gray/black and white fur. The underbelly and central facial zone are all white, while the rest of the body is a grayish black color. Their fur is extremely thick to protect them against below freezing temperatures. The monkeys are born with white fur that darkens with age. Another distinctive feature shared by both adults and babies, is their hairless and vibrant pink lips. These primates get the "snub-nosed" part of their name from the absence of nasal bones.[7]This is considered their most distinctive feature.

Behavior[edit]

Diet[edit]

Unlike many primates, the Black snub-nosed monkey's diet consists mainly of lichen found on trees. Lichen grows in abundance in mountainous regions, and makes for a reliable, year-round food supply. These primates will also eat bamboo leaves and other more seasonal plants if the opportunity presents itself. Many food items vary depending on the geographical location of each troop. Lichens are toxic to most animals, but the Black snub-nosed monkey has specialized digestive enzymes that remove the harmful bacteria, similar to that of a cow.[8]

Reproduction[edit]

The reproduction cycles of black snub-nosed monkey is generally similar to that of golden snub-nosed monkeys, except the time of birth is often two to three months later due to colder climate.[9] Like most primates, the snub-nosed monkey gives birth at night, making it difficult for researchers to observe. A rare observation of a daytime birth found a multiparous female assisting another female in the birthing process, similar to human midwifery practice.[10]

Evolution[edit]

The Black snub-nosed monkey lives at the highest altitude of any known non-human primate. The highest recorded altitude of a group of this species is 4700 m.[11]Surviving in such extreme conditions is only made possible by a mutation in the primate's genomic DNA sequence that allows increased resistance to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia).[12] Other mutations in the DNA sequence have been found to be harmful to the monkeys, as there is evidence of inbreeding and low genetic diversity among populations. [13]

Geographical range and habitat[edit]

This species has a highly restricted distribution in the bio-diverse Nujiang Langcang Gorge alpine conifer and mixed forests of the Yun Range, which is part of the greater Hengduan Mountains.[14] Only 17 groups with a total population of less than 1,700 animals survive in northwest Yunnan and neighboring regions in the Autonomous Prefecture of Tibet. The territory of each group varies from 20 to 135 square km.[15] Deciduous and coniferous forests are their preferred habitat, where lichen grows in abundance year-round.

History[edit]

The black snub-nosed monkey was almost completely unknown until the 1990's. The fact that no single zoo outside China has ever kept the black snub-nosed monkey in captivity has contributed to the enigmatic status of this species.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Bleisch, W. & Richardson, M. (2008). "Rhinopithecus bieti". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T19597A8986243. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T19597A8986243.en. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ Richardson, Matt (February 13, 2006). "Yunnan snub-nosed monkey videos, photos and facts - Rhinopithecus bieti". Wildscreen Arkive. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  4. ^ Abrams, Sylvie (April 2018). "Yunnan snub nosed monkey". New England Primate Conservancy. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  5. ^ "New study reveals adaptations for snub-nosed monkeys". Oxford University Press. August 23, 2016. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  6. ^ Abrams, Sylvie (April 2018). "Yunnan snub nosed monkey". New England Primate Conservancy. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  7. ^ Richardson, Matt (February 13, 2006). "Yunnan snub-nosed monkey videos, photos and facts - Rhinopithecus bieti". Wildscreen Arkive. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  8. ^ Olson, Eric. R (April 23, 2015). "Featured Creature: Black Snub-nosed Monkey | Blog | Nature | PBS". PBS Nature. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  9. ^ Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Long, Y. C.; Zhong, T.; Xiao, L. (1998). "Social organization and range use in the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus bieti". International Journal of Primatology. 19: 13–51. doi:10.1023/A:1020302809584.
  10. ^ Ding, Wei; Yang, Le; Xiao, Wen (5 February 2013). "Daytime birth and parturition assistant behavior in wild black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) Yunnan, China". Behavioural Processes. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2013.01.006.
  11. ^ Long, Y. C.; Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Zhong, T.; Xiao, L. (1994). "Report on the distribution, population, and ecology of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti)". Primates. 35 (2): 241–250. doi:10.1007/BF02382060.
  12. ^ "Findings from Harvard School of Medicine Broaden Understanding of Molecular Biology (Population Genomics Reveals Low Genetic Diversity and Adaptation to Hypoxia in Snub-Nosed Monkeys)". Life Science Weekly. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  13. ^ "New study reveals adaptations for snub-nosed monkeys". Oxford University Press. August 23, 2016. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  14. ^ Long, Y. C.; Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Zhong, T.; Xiao, L. (1994). "Report on the distribution, population, and ecology of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti)". Primates. 35 (2): 241–250. doi:10.1007/BF02382060.
  15. ^ Long, Y. & Wu, R. (2006). "Population, home range, conservation status of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti)". Abstracts of the China Fusui International Primatological Symposium: 10–11.

External links[edit]