Tim Melling – Golden Snub-nosed Monkey

Tim writes: The golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is only found in China and is classified as endangered.  It is found in forests at high altitude (1500-3400m) and feeds largely on lichens that grow on dead trees, but also on fresh leaves, buds and flowers.  They occur in groups that range over a very wide area of around 40 square kilometers and they rarely linger in one place.  This makes them extremely difficult to find.  I spent three days in Tangjiahe nature reserve in Sichuan in 2017 but failed to find a single one.  Three days at the same reserve in 2018 resulted in us finding a small group of three at surprisingly close range.  This allowed us great views to see their long golden fur, ghostly blue face, snub-nose and long tail.  They were also much larger than I was expecting, with males averaging about 18kg, with head and body around 68cm with a tail of similar length.

Its scientific name roxellana was named in 1870 by Henri Milne-Edwards after Roxellane (ca. 1505–1558), who was Consort to the Turkish Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent (1494–1566). She was a Russian lady of “doubtful repute” with long golden hair and a retroussé nose, characteristics shared by the monkey.

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2 Replies to “Tim Melling – Golden Snub-nosed Monkey”

  1. My 2nd favourite monkey (my fave is the famously photogenic geladas) and one that I am unlikely to ever see. So rare that, and ICBW, that no zoo has any of them in captivity. I do hope I can win the lottery, just so I can afford to go see them in the wild one day. Until then, thank you for wonderful pictures like these

    1. Many thanks indeed for your kind comments. I have another picture of Golden Snub-nosed Monkey climbing that shows off his pyjamas really well here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/timmelling/44687952900/in/dateposted/
      And if your favourite Monkey is Gelada then I have lots of photographs in this Ethiopia album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/timmelling/albums/72157677159599663


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