Tag Archives: monkeys

Baby Monkeys in Borneo!

Baby monkeys – Long-tailed macaques

What’s the only thing more exciting than seeing animals in the wild?  Baby animals in the wild! Check out these photos of baby monkeys – baby long-tailed macaques:

Baby monkeys - baby long-tailed macaque hanging on to the mother long-tailed macaque in Borneo | Baby monkey in Bako National Park, Sarawak region of Malaysia, Asia

I saw these Long-tailed Macaques in Bako National Park, in Malaysian Borneo. This below photo reminds me of the photos of monkeys in Bali.

Baby monkey - Photo of a baby long-tailed macaque hanging on to the mother long-tailed macaque in Borneo | Baby monkey in Bako National Park, Sarawak region of Malaysia, Asia
notice baby monkey’s little hands and feet grabbing on

These baby monkeys were so adorable that we almost forgot that they’re wild animals.

Baby Monkeys in Borneo - crawling

Long-tailed macaques are the most commonly seen type of monkey in southeast Asia; I saw them all over, from Indonesia to Cambodia to the Philippines. Male members leave the group when they reach puberty, according to Wikipedia.  Long-tailed macaques are also referred to as crab-eating macaques

They are opportunistic omnivores and have been documented using tools to obtain food, according to the American Journal of Primatology.

Baby Monkey protected by the parent in Borneo - Baby long-tailed macaques in Borneo, Bako, Malaysia

Baby Monkeys in Borneo - Baby long-tailed macaques in Borneo, Bako, Malaysia

These baby monkeys in Borneo were cute, but there’s competition for cutest baby wildlife from my Asia trip.  My southeast Asia trip has already produced opportunities to see baby elephants in Borneo, baby monkeys (macaques) in Indonesia, and baby apes (baby orangutans). Which set of baby wildlife photos did you like best?

Carrying her baby monkey in Borneo - Baby long-tailed macaques in Borneo, Bako, Malaysia

I also saw other types of animals up close as well – tarsiersmacaquesproboscis monkeyssharkspythons, camels, and more!

Meet the Macaques

Malaysian Borneo – The monkey I saw most often on my trip through Asia was the macaque. Long-tailed macaques are not shy (although sometimes aggressive; be careful!) and that made for some wonderful closeup photos like this one (below) from Bako National Park, an island in Malaysian Borneo.

Macaque monkey in Bako in Borneo - some readers suggested this pic as a cover photo for the next Lonely Planet
Cover photo for the next Lonely Planet Malaysian Borneo?

Another travel photographer said this wildlife shot of a long-tailed macaque (the monkey in the above photo) should be the next cover of Lonely Planet Borneo (Travel Guide). Perhaps! I’m really flattered by the compliment, but I need to thank the photogenic monkeys that were so kind to pose for me.

Getting this photo:  Shots like this are challenging, because this monkey didn’t pose for me, and macro shots aren’t compatible with motion and you can’t predict eye contact from wildlife. You need to be in the right focus to have the monkey crisp with the background blurred so it pops. In contrast, I love the composition of the lower photo, but I had to use my zoom so the depth of field is much more flat.

Macaque monkey in Malaysian Borneo on Bako Island
Surprised, or hungry?

Pronunciation – yes, the correct pronunciation for this monkey is actually Muh-kok. [Giggle giggle]

I saw plenty more long-tailed macaques on the cliffs of Ulu Watu, in Indonesia. Check out the photos here.

It wasn’t the first time seeing wildlife in my trip – the baby orangutans, baby elephants, and baby monkeys (macaques) in Borneo were adorable!  I also saw other types of animals up close – camelstarsiersproboscis monkeyssharkspythons, and more!

Wildlife section of my travel blog.

Lonely Planet Borneo (Travel Guide)

Proboscis Monkeys: Up close

Borneo’s Proboscis Monkeys

I was fascinated by Borneo’s Proboscis Monkeys! It was a rare chance to observe and photograph an endangered species in the wild. Proboscis Monkeys seem so human-like!  Imagine a monkey with a distinctive huge nose and a pot belly. They often walk upright (rare for mammals) and sit like humans sit.

The proboscis monkey name, Nasalis larvatus, literally translates to “long nose,” and you can see why (below):

Rare Proboscis Monkey - relaxing on a low branch  | Bako National Park in Borneo, Malaysia
Rare Proboscis Monkey – relaxing on a low branch, in Borneo, Malaysia

A male proboscis monkey’s nose can reach up to 7 inches in length!

Sometimes Proboscis Monkeys seem so human-like!  This proboscis monkey was frantically eating as if he hadn’t eaten for days! Take a look in this video clip from my time in Malaysian Borneo:

Bako National Park also has bearded pigs, which greeted us upon entering the island. When we heard a typical pig sound later in the day, we were surprised to hear these honking sounds coming from proboscis monkeys.

Proboscis monkeys live on a special diet of leaves, flowers and seeds of vegetation found only in rivers, mangroves, and peat swamps
Proboscis monkeys live on a special diet of leaves, flowers and seeds of vegetation found only in rivers, mangroves, and peat swamps
Female proboscis monkeys have much smaller noses - Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia
Female proboscis monkeys have much smaller noses – Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia

Orangutans are much more closely related to humans, but the mannerisms of proboscis monkeys made me stop in my tracks and want to observe them all day. I did.

Proboscis monkeys are proficient swimmers, using the webbing between their fingers to move quietly (so as not to attract predators, like crocodiles) using a form of dog paddle, and seem to like the mangrove swamps.
Proboscis monkeys are proficient swimmers, using the webbing between their fingers to move quietly (so as not to attract predators, like crocodiles) using a form of dog paddle, and seem to like the mangrove swamps.

I’ve added Proboscis Monkey facts throughout this page. Enjoy!

Habitat:

  • Proboscis Monkeys live almost exclusively in mangrove forests like the one in the above photo from Bako. They can also be found in lowland rainforests.
  • Proboscis monkeys are dependent on habitats with rivers and streams.
  • Proboscis monkeys sleep in trees. They prefer thick branches growing over water to protect themselves from predators.

    Proboscis Monkey eating leaves, in Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia
    Proboscis Monkey eating leaves
  • Size: Male Proboscis Monkeys can be twice the weight of females. Males can be up to 50 pounds. Females are up to 25 pounds.
  • Protecting — proboscis monkeys only live in Borneo. It’s the only place they can survive.

From National Geographic:

The monkeys of the world are divided into two groups: the Old World monkeys of Africa and Asia and the New World monkeys of Central and South America. Geography isn’t their only difference however. Many Old World monkeys, like the proboscis, have long thick tails that help them balance while capering, crashing, and careening around the forest. In fact, the names of several monkeys in this family describe their distinctive appendages: stumptailed, pigtailed, and lion-tailed monkeys. In contrast, many New World monkeys, like the familiar spider monkey, have prehensile tails, used like hands and feet to help them grasp limbs, swing through the treetops, and even dangle upside down while eating.

I generally like National Geographic’s wildlife pages, but based on my experiences in Bako National Park, I disagree with Nat Geo in one key area on proboscis monkeys.

Common Name: Monyet Belanda
Genus: Nasalis
Species:
larvatus

Proboscis Monkeys are only found in Borneo, adding to the excitement.

Video clip closeups from my first encounter with Proboscis Monkeys in the wild from my time in Malaysian Borneo:

Here’s a video clip of Proboscis Monkeys strolling through mangroves:

Find more of my proboscis monkey photography from my time in Borneo here.

There’s more info on the rare Proboscis Monkey on Wikipedia. You can also read more on National Geographic‘s proboscis monkey site.

Monkey self-portraits

Monkey steals camera and takes Facebook-style monkey self-portraits

Who knew primates had photography skills?  A monkey stole a wildlife photographer’s camera, and then started taking pictures of himself, even smiling in the photos.  The crested black macaque monkey (black ape) swiped the camera and took monkey self-portraits at arms length, like you’d see on a 15-year old girl’s Facebook or Instagram page. It’s a monkey selfie!

monkey self portrait from this Sulawesi crested black macaque (the black monkey pictured), who stole a camera and took pictures of himself. It's a monkey selfie!
Sulawesi monkey steals a camera and snaps his new profile pic, a monkey self-portrait

It happened when wildlife photographer David Slater was visiting a national park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, he left his camera unattended and a crested black macaque monkey grabbed it and proceeded take Facebook-style monkey self-portraits. Who knew “black apes” took pictures? It’s actually a decent monkey self-portrait!

If you’re curious, I found out some interesting facts about these inquisitive monkeys below:

Sulawesi crested black macaque / Black-Crested Macaque, Tangkoko National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia By Sean Crane. Sulawesi crested black macaque
great shot of a Crested black Macaque. I love his expression
Some crested black macaque facts:
  • They’re promiscuous – with both males and females mating multiple times with multiple partners
  • They live in groups, and tend to either be all males or be 4:1 females to males.
  • Their diet is 70% fruits
  • They’re extremely rare and critically endangered
  • They’re found in Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia, and some tiny islands near it
  • Many names — crested black macaque, Sulawesi black macaque, Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi crested macaque, or the black ape. Scientific name: Macaca nigra
Sulawesi crested black macaque / Black-Crested Macaque, Sulawesi, Indonesia. photo by Sean Crane
I love his expression in this portrait! photo by Sean Crane

I love his expression in the above monkey self-portrait; it reminds me of the closeups of long-tailed macaques that I snapped in Malaysia.

Macaques can be unpredictable (like these monkeys having sex while I was photographing the view of the Ulu Watu cliffs in Indonesia).

The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it. At first it scared the rest of them away but they soon came back – it was amazing to watch. He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus. He obviously hadn’t worked that out yet.

The facebook-style monkey self-portrait photos were actually taken by the monkey. They’re courtesy of wildlife photographer David Slater. The two (above) impressive photos on this page were by wildlife photographer Sean Crane.

Sulawesi crested black monkey self-portrait, worthy of Facebook or Instagram. It's a monkey selfie! Sulawesi crested black macaque. Visit50.com
photo from David Slater, taken by this crested black monkey

Other primates from my travels: I was amazed how the mannerisms can be so similar to humans. Although they’re technically less closely related to humans than orangutans, I was surprised by how human-like proboscis monkey behavior could be. The baby monkeys (long-tailed macaques) in Borneo were cute, but the tarsiers (aka “Gremlins”) still may have been the cutest primates I’ve seen in person.

Sulawesi Sulawesi crested black macaque / crested black monkey - facebook style monkey self-portrait. monkey selfie! Visit50.com
this shot reminds me of a teenage girl taking Instagram or Facebook selfie pics

Original story from Daily Telegraph. Thanks to Grace for sending me the story.

Monkey sex in Bali

We were enjoying the view from the cliffs of Ulu Watu in Bali – it was a beautiful moment until…a slight interruption.  Just then it occurred to me that I was surrounded by monkeys…and they seized the moment.  I was photographing a monkey on the edge of the cliff, when another jumped on her from behind. Then two other monkeys having sex too. Then two more. Where am I?? Surprise – monkey sex.

Where do baby monkeys come from? | Monkey Sex in Ulu Watu, Bali, Indonesia
Mommy, where do baby monkeys come from?

These monkeys were in their natural habitat, so anything goes. Including this first photo. What, you’ve never seen monkeys having sex?

Macaque monkey sex - it's a Discovery Channel moment at Ulu Watu, Bali Indonesia| Photo by Todd L. Cohen, Visit50.com
a Discovery Channel moment for the monkeys at Ulu Watu

Forget doggystyle – this is monkey style!

Edit: I didn’t realize Monkey sex was a slang term, as reported on Urban Dictionary – “The communal act of rough …wild …passionate…primatial fornication. Usually accompanied with various vocal tones and frantic leg hmuping usually seen and heard from orangutans. It is also customary to wear “Planet of the Apes” costumes in order to successfully portray monkey sex”

A read said it reminded her of this video from Gawker, with monkey sex on the hood of a car.

Mating behavior: These monkeys are macaques, which are known to have dominant males that try to monopolize females. Perhaps this is an example of that. Interestingly enough, “promiscuity benefits females and subor-dinate males. One way to escape monopolization by dominant males is to copulate in their absence,” which is called the “audience effect.” This is according to an article in the American Journal of Primatology. 

For more posts about monkeys, I’ve set up a link here.

At sunset, the monkeys take over

I just love this photo of a silhouetted macaque (monkey) on the dock of the island of Bako as the sun sets over the mountains in Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia). It capped a wonderful day of wildlife photography.

At sunset, the monkeys take over. Bako National Park, Borneo, Malaysia

I’m always very critical of my work so I can improve. This isn’t a great technical photo (above) – the lighting and focus aren’t quite how I’d like them, but I just love it. Maybe you will too


Photos of these silhouetted macaque monkeys were from Malaysian Borneo, in the impressive Bako National Park.

Rainforests, wildlife, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, & beaches in Borneo’s Bako

Hiking through Bako National Park turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my trip.  It’s a 10.5 square mile island with rainforests, secluded beaches with sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, jungle streams, and lots of wildlife (including about 150 of the aforementioned rare proboscis monkeys).

The coast line was beautiful – millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs with brilliant colored patterns formed by iron deposition.

Monkeys were everywhere – mostly Long-tailed macaques and silver leaf monkeys. And of course the highlight was seeing rare probiscos monkeys . We also saw lizards and bearded pigs.

 

Bako National Park also has nearly every type of vegetation found in Borneo (25 distinct types). In a couple of days of trekking through the jungle trails, you can see “Beach vegetation, Cliff vegetation, Kerangas or heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest,” according to the official site.

Consider this a sneak preview of the sunsets I saw in Borneo – the ones in the next few posts were even better!

Disagreeing with Nat Geo

Proboscis monkeys: “they’re graceful, they can swim, and they’re in trouble,” according to National Geographic. I agree with the latter two of those statements. They’re surprising good swimmers and deforestation is certainly endangering their species. But graceful??

After a few days of observing them in the wild, I respectfully disagree (at least with the few dozen that I saw at Bako National Park in Borneo / Malaysia).

This proboscis monkey (below) started to swing from one branch to another, not realizing it couldn’t support his weight and promptly dropped to the ground, bounced, and tried it again with the next branch. You’d think that years of evolution might help them in this area. They only have 10.5 square miles to explore, so I’d assume they’d get to know the terrain fairly well. Even worse, the larger proboscis monkey behind him followed his lead, with the same result.

[I’m going through the videos I shot and will post the live action demo then]

Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo: never seen monkeys like these

What’s a Proboscis Monkey? Since they’re only found in Borneo, you probably haven’t seen them before, so I’ll start with some photography from my trip to Bako National Park, in the Sarawak region of Malaysia in Borneo (full post on proboscis monkeys can be found here).  Like my orangutan encounter the day before (including baby orangutans!), I was just steps away from these rare creatures, giving me plenty of opportunity to observe and photograph. I did plenty of both!

After seeing what Probiscus Monkeys look like, and I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about them. I’ll share what I learned in the next posts, which will include proboscis monkey facts and proboscis monkey photos.