Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon - by Robert A. Sterndale F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. (1884)|
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4. SEMNOPITHECUS vel PRESBYTES ENTELLUS. The Bengal Langur (Jerdon's No. 1).
NATIVE NAMES.—Langur, Hanuman, Hindi; Wanur and Makur, Mahratti; Musya, Canarese.
HABITAT.—Bengal and Central India.
DESCRIPTION.—Pale dirty or ashy grey; darker on the shoulders and rump; greyish-brown on the tail; paler on the head and lower parts; hands and feet black.
SIZE.—Length of male thirty inches to root of tail; tail forty-three inches.
The Entellus monkey is in some parts of India deemed sacred, and is permitted by the Hindus to plunder their grain-shops with impunity; but I think that with increasing hard times the Hanumans are not allowed such freedom as they used to have, and in most parts of India I have been in they are considered an unmitigated nuisance, and the people have implored the aid of Europeans to get rid of their tormentors. In the forest the Langur lives on grain, fruit, the pods of leguminous trees, and young buds and leaves. Sir Emerson Tennent notices the fondness of an allied species for the flowers of the red hibiscus (H. rosa sinensis). The female has usually only one young one, though sometimes twins. The very young babies have not black but light-coloured faces, which darken afterwards. I have always found them most difficult to rear, requiring almost as much attention as a human baby. Their diet and hours of feeding must be as systematically arranged; and if cow's milk be given it must be freely diluted with water—two-thirds to one-third milk when very young, and afterwards decreased to one-half. They are extremely susceptible to cold. In confinement they are quiet and gentle whilst young, but the old males are generally sullen and treacherous. Jerdon says, on the authority of the Bengal Sporting Magazine (August 1836), that the males live apart from the females, who have only one or two old males with each colony, and that they have fights at certain seasons, when the vanquished males receive charge of all the young ones of their own sex, with whom they retire to some neighbouring jungle. Blyth notices that in one locality he found only males of all ages, and in another chiefly females. I have found these monkeys mostly on the banks of streams in the forests of the Central Provinces; in fact, the presence of them anywhere in arid jungles is a sign that water is somewhere in the vicinity. They are timid creatures, and I have never seen the slightest disposition about them to show fight, whereas I was once most deliberately charged by the old males of a party of Rhesus monkeys. I was at the time on field service during the Mutiny, and, seeing several nursing mothers in the party, tried to run them down in the open and secure a baby; but they were too quick for me, and, on being attacked by the old males, I had to pistol the leader.
5. SEMNOPITHECUS vel PRESBYTES SCHISTACEUS. The Himalayan Langur (Jerdon's No. 2).
5 Mr. J. Cockburn, of the Imperial Museum, has, since I wrote about the preceding species, given me some interesting information regarding the geographical distribution of Presbytes entellus and Hylobates hooluck. He says: "The latter has never been known to occur on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, though swarming in the forests at the very water's edge on the south bank. The entellus monkey is also not found on the north bank of the Ganges, and attempts at its introduction have repeatedly failed." P. schistaceus replaces it in the Sub-Himalayan forests.
NATIVE NAMES.—Langur, Hindi; Kamba Suhú, Lepcha; Kubup, Bhotia.
HABITAT.—The whole range of the Himalayas from Nepal to beyond Simla.
DESCRIPTION (after Hodgson).—Dark slaty above; head and lower parts pale yellowish; hands concolorous with body, or only a little darker; tail slightly tufted; hair on the crown of the head short and radiated; on the cheeks long, directed backwards, and covering the ears. Hutton's description is, dark greyish, with pale hands and feet, white head, dark face, white throat and breast, and white tip to the tail.
SIZE.—About thirty inches; tail, thirty-six inches.
Captain Hutton, writing from Mussoorie, says: "On the Simla side I observed them also, leaping and playing about, while the fir-trees, among which they sported, were loaded with snow-wreaths, at an elevation of 11,000 feet."—'Jour. As. Soc. Beng.' xiii. p. 471.
Dr. Anderson remarks on the skull of this species, that it can be easily distinguished from entellus by its larger size, the supraorbital ridge being less forwardly projected, and not forming so thick and wide a pent roof, but the most marked difference lies in the much longer facial portion of schistaceus; the teeth are also larger; the symphysis or junction of the lower jaw is considerably longer and broader, and the lower jaw itself is generally more massive and deep.
6. SEMNOPITHECUS vel PRESBYTES PRIAMUS. The Madras Langur.
NATIVE NAME.—Gandangi, Telugu.
HABITAT.—The Coromandel Coast and Ceylon.
DESCRIPTION.—Ashy grey, with a pale reddish or chocolat-au-lait tint overlying the whole back and head; sides of the head, chin, throat, and beneath pale yellowish; hands and feet whitish; face, palms and fingers, and soles of feet and toes black; hair long and straight, not wavy; tail of the colour of the darker portion of the back, ending in a whitish tuft.—Jerdon.
SIZE.—About the same as P. entellus.
Blyth, who is followed by Jerdon, describes this monkey as having a compressed high vertical crest, but Dr. Anderson found that the specimens in the Indian Museum owed these crests to bad stuffing. Kellaart, however, mentions it, and calls the animal "the Crested Monkey." In Sir Emerson Tennent's figure of P. priamus a slight crest is noticeable; but Kellaart is very positive on this point, saying: "P. priamus is easily distinguished from all other known species of monkeys in Ceylon by its high compressed vertical crest."
Jerdon says this species is not found on the Malabar Coast, but neither he nor McMaster give much information regarding it. Emerson Tennent writes: "At Jaffna, and in other parts of the island where the population is comparatively numerous, these monkeys become so familiarised with the presence of man as to exhibit the utmost daring and indifference. A flock of them will take possession of a palmyra palm, and so effectually can they crouch and conceal themselves among the leaves that, on the slightest alarm, the whole party becomes invisible in an instant. The presence of a dog, however, excites such irrepressible curiosity that, in order to watch his movements, they never fail to betray themselves. They may be frequently seen congregated on the roof of a native hut; and, some years ago, the child of a European clergyman, stationed near Jaffna, having been left on the ground by the nurse, was so teased and bitten by them as to cause its death."
In these particulars this species resembles P. entellus.