The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingRed-Shanked Douc - Issue Thirty-One
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Purple-faced Langur from  Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html The Red shanked Douc is a colourful Old World monkey which sports maroon-red "stockings" and white forearm length gloves above black hands and feet. The golden face is framed by a white ruff, which is considerably fluffier in males. The eyelids are a soft powder blue. The tail is white with a triangle of white hair at the base. Males of all ages have a white spot on both sides of the corners of the rump patch, and red and white genitals. The red-shanked douc is thought to be found only in north and central Vietnam and Laos. They are an arboreal and diurnal monkey that eats and sleeps in the trees of the forest and are found in a variety of habitats: from lowland to mountainous terrain up to 2,000 m, deciduous, primary and secondary rainforests, in the mid to upper levels of the canopy. Its diet consists mostly of leaves high in fibers and they prefer to eat small, young and tender leaves, but they will also eat fruit like figs, buds, petioles, flowers, bamboo shoots and seeds. A long, slender monkey, the male has an average head and body length of 61 cm, and the female averages 54.5 cm long, with a tail that measures 55.8-76.2 cm. Males weigh on average 11 kg, and females 8.44 kilograms. Females reach sexual maturity at about 4 years, while the males reach it at 4-5 years. They have a lifespan of about 25 years. Although noisy when untroubled, they can flee soundlessly through the trees and away from danger if startled. In contrast to their noisy travel, doucs spend most of their time quietly eating, digesting their bulky food, dozing and grooming each other's fur. Before mating, both genders give a sexual signal with the jaw forward, eyebrows raised and then lowered, and a head-shake. The female makes the first move, lying face-down on a branch, eyeing her chosen mate by looking over her shoulder. The male returns with a stare and may turn to look at another spot he considers more suitable for mating. Mating takes place from August to December. The pregnancy lasts between 165 and 190 days, resulting in the birth of a single offspring just before fruiting season of some favorite foods. Twins are very rare. The young are born with their eyes wide open and they cling to their mothers instinctively. In captivity, other group members may look after an infant, and other females may even suckle it. In one study, an orphaned infant was fed by two females in the group and also cared for by a male. They are threatened throughout their limited range by habitat destruction and hunting. Native people hunt it for food and body parts, which are used in traditional medicine. There is also a very lucrative and illegal wildlife trade for the red-shanked douc. During the Vietnam War, their habitat was heavily bombed and sprayed with defoliants like Agent Orange.

   


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