Today’s uncommon creature comes to us from the southeast Asian island of Borneo and is called a proboscis monkey (suggested by Guest Doodlewasher Sharon Mann). You can literally spot a male version of this monkey a mile away because of its unusually large bulbous nose. Apparently this massive fleshy schnoz is there so they can attract a mate. But the attraction isn’t what you might immediately think. The females aren’t so much attracted to the size of the appendage as it’s ability to produce a thrillingly loud and impressive sound. The bigger the trumpet, the more likely the male is to woo a female and scare off her competing suitors.

Monogamy, however, is not the goal as a group of proboscis is called a harem and consists of one dominant male and two to seven females and their offspring. The remaining males, with presumably smaller noses, form a group of their own. These monkeys are very adept and creative swimmers, hitting the water on their bellies and swimming 65 feet (20 meters) under water. When they are threatened, they’ll taking a spectacular dive into the water to escape.

Unfortunately, like many of this unusual creatures, this species is classified as endangered. Though an odd face, they’re generally good natured with each other, but due to extensive loss of vegetation, there are only about 1,000 of them left. The government of Borneo has instituted strict penalties for those who kill them in an effort to protect what’s left of the dwindling population. If you have a suggestion for the next uncommon creature, please shout it out in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrol Red, Dioxazine Purple, Quinacridone Gold, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

51 replies on “The Proboscis Monkey

  1. Oh, he’s so cute and charming! I thought he was blowing a raspberry for a second there, like a proper cheeky monkey… but no, it’s the conk (and what a conk!). This is another new one on me, Charlie – how wonderfully bizarre!

    Is a white tiger uncommon enough? They’re so stunning though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jacob!! Yeah…this is a rare and weird one…wasn’t sure about this doodlewash. Struggled with him since he’s too much like a human face and I don’t do those. lol glad you liked it!! 😃 And I thought about a white tiger actually… but I’ll probably wait until I get through more of the really weird ones! Haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think he turned out wonderfully. And I’ll look forward to a white tiger if you should choose to do one… I suppose you could otherwise look at the hybrids such as the liger as they could be seen as a little more strange!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. in elementary school this monkey showed in a class project somehow. I remember my friend pinching the end of his nose and making this kissy face. I was in uncontrollable laughter and was asked to leave the class until I could control myself which took several hours. I still get a laugh when I see this monkey only because of that face he made.

    I found out while I was in high school, the teacher asked me to leave because my laughing was making her laugh in front of the classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha!! I love that story… and so happy I caught it… for some reason your comment went to my Spam folder. Guess kissy face is considered questionable!! lol That’s awesome… I can totally picture it and it makes me laugh. Thanks Mike! And sorry for the delay on my response!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this guy. Whenever I have seen pictures of them I have found them fascinating and so unique. I’m sadden that all these lovely unique characters are on the endangered list. I’d like to say as the human race we can do so much better but this isn’t the forum for that so I will continue to just enjoy your wonderful and creative entries each day Charlie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have some questions, is the drawing illustration of the proboscis monkey above of a male or female? Also, if that is a drawing of a male proboscis, why do some male proboscis have a line going down the middle of the nose while some male proboscis don’t? I’m really interested, please answer my questions?

    Liked by 1 person

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