Francois' Langur - White Facial Hair and Spiky Crest
The Francois' langur is an endangered species hailing from the tropical and subtropical zones of southeast China. Their range is very small, and habitat destruction has lead to declining numbers in recent years, causing the IUCN to place special protections on the species to keep it from becoming critically endangered and then eventually perhaps extinct. There are believed to be fewer than 2000 individuals of these langurs in the wild, with another 60 or so in captivity per North American zoos.
In adulthood the Francois' langur is covered in silky black hair. At their longest, a langur will be around 25 inches (64 cm) and weigh up to around 16 pounds (7.2 kg) making them a fairly average sized primate. In youth however, these curious primates are a bright shade of red-orange, making for a spectacular sight, especially when contrasted with the black hair of their parents. Another unusual fact about the appearance of these langurs is the white "sideburns" on the face of the adults, which gives them a sort of US Civil War General look. They even have a common name for their fantastic facial hair, sometimes these langurs are called "white side-burned black langurs". In fact, who knows who this French guy Auguste François was but they might have named the lanky primate “Burnside's langur” after Ambrose Burnside (the guy they named sideburns after (which were originally called “burnsides”)) although François did have a decent mustache.
These are social primates who live in groups ranging from a small gathering of four individuals to huge colonies of almost 30 individuals. They use their numbers for protection and to forage for food, which is a full time job for a langur who eats mostly leaves, but will also root out fruits, seeds, bark, bugs and insects and even stems and flowers, requiring a very complex four chamber digestive system to handle it all.
One unique trait is the way these monkeys protect themselves by making their homes in caves, which helps them stay protected from both wild weather and dangerous predators.