Monkeys are one of our closest relatives in terms of DNA and just like humans, these primates can be found in every corner of the Earth. From hot springs and volcanic craters to deserts and rain forests monkeys thrive in corners of the world. Now, compared to humans, monkeys already look strange enough but you haven’t had the best of monkey faces until you have seen one with a moustache and another one with no nose. Of the 600 impressive species of monkeys on Earth, these 10 have the strangest facial appearances that will shock you.
Endemic to the forests of Borneo, the Proboscis monkey has the largest nose of any monkey alive. The snout can protrude up to 4 inches (10cm) in adult males. The long nose doesn’t just serve to increase the pitch of its calls to females, it also attracts females to the males with the strongest genes. These monkeys are highly endangered though due to the decline of the forests they live in. They are also good swimmers preferring to stay up in tree branches or swim in water where jaguars cannot get to them.
The Black Snub-nosed Monkey
From a monkey with an excessive supply of nose to one that doesn’t seem to have one, snub-nosed monkeys are a spectacle to behold. These monkeys were only discovered in 2010 and the species is almost extinct again thanks to hunting by locals. The monkey’s receding nose is made up for with its fury court which covers most of its face. The appearance causes its eyes to also appear to recede into its forehead. The monkeys have huge lips though which is interesting because all the other major features in its face seem to disappear into the face. It is found in parts of Myanmar and Central China but there may be less than 100 left in the wild.
Also known as flying monkeys, these South American monkeys are among the most agile on earth with the ability to leap 30ft between branches. Their tails are no use for swinging on branches but they have strong limbs that make up for that shortcoming. These monkeys are born brown but as they grow, the males develop black fur with a conspicuous white face. The fur literally gleams on the monkey’s face attracting females.
The Bald Uakari
If you ever wanted to see a monkey with a strikingly bright red but beautiful face, then this is it. The monkeys have bald heads which is the one thing that makes them stand out. It is bald all the way to the top of its head while the rest of its body is covered with brown/ orange rusty fur. The monkeys have short tails that cannot grip trees but they have strong limbs that do. They are also endangered as their habitat is the Amazon is being lost to logging and conversion of farms to agricultural land. Their population isn’t increasing rapidly either as the females only give birth once every two years.
This monkey is unlike any other because they prefer to stay on the ground rather than climb trees, they prefer steep rock cliffs in the Ethiopian mountains. The monkeys live in huge colonies with up to 100 members with the alfa male being the head of the group. They have a slip face with a pointy nose. They have the ability to flip their upper lips menacingly to intimidate rivals. The most conspicuous feature of their bodies is the bright red colour on their chests which is why they are called blood-chested monkeys.
The Buffy-Tufted Marmoset
Some people call it the skull-faced marmoset because its white face gives the appearance of a person wearing a skull mask. The marmoset is found on the Atlantic coast of Southeastern Brazil and unlike other marmosets, they prefer to eat small insects. The strange appearance is concluded by a brown/golden crown and short white ear tufts that give the monkey a stern-looking but beautiful face.
This would be the Gandalf of monkeys thanks to its long white beard that you won’t find on any other monkey. The white hair that covers the monkey extends through its face around the mouth giving the monkey the appearance of a wise old man like you see in films. The monkey’s wisdom is complemented by a golden crown/diadem which is its differentiating feature. The monkey can be found in most forests of central Africa.
These are some of the smallest monkeys in the world growing only to the size of a big squirrel. The monkeys also inhabit the Amazon rainforest and therefore just endangered as the others in this group. They have a silver coat but their most interesting feature is their handlebar moustache white in color which is like the exact opposite of Debrazza’s monkey. The moustache gives them the appearance of a sad person with their lower lip appearing to be split by the moustache.
These mice-sized monkeys were once found all over the world but now there are less than a dozen species left. Most of them are found in the forests of Southeast Asia but the population continues to decline. Domestic cats are believed to be one of the reasons for the decline of these little monkeys because they confuse them for mice. The monkeys have large eyes, with each eye being the size of their brain. Relative to their size, they have the largest eye of any mammal. They also have long and powerful hind legs that make them agile when it comes to jumping between branches.
This is another interestingly normal-looking monkey until you notice the pouch under its throat. The pouch is inflated when the monkey shouts making it one of the best-vocalized creatures on earth. When inflated; the balloon-like pouch becomes the same size as the monkey’s head. The monkeys are endemic to the Malay islands and not in as much danger of decline.
Have you seen any of these monkeys before? Do you know of any other strange-looking monkeys? Why not let us know in the comments below.