Now that’s a nose

Before I started researching my trip to Malaysia I don’t think I had ever heard of the proboscis monkey. As soon as I saw a photo of one, I knew I wanted to see it.

They are endemic to the south-east Asian island of Borneo. Usually the monkeys are spotted in coastal areas and near rivers. They prefer to be near a water source and typically don’t stray more than a kilometer from water. And they can swim. However, they spend most of their time in trees. During the morning the proboscis forage for food, eating mostly leaves and fruit. The rest of the hours during the day involve resting, traveling, eating, and keeping watch for crocodiles, clouded leopards, monitor lizards, pythons, and eagles. Yikes that’s a lot of predators. In the evening they return to the river to eat again and then sleep in the trees.

The proboscis monkey is listed as endangered. Sadly, over the last forty years their population has diminished by over 50%, even though they are a protected species in all the areas of Borneo. Given this fact I wasn’t that hopeful that we would run into them. Imagine my delight when the guide pointed and said, “Proboscis monkeys.”

It’s easy to identify one in the wild—just look at the nose.

Even with the tree blocking some of it, you can still see his nose

Even with the tree blocking some of it, you can still see his nose

The nose isn't as large, but still bigger than most monkeys.

The nose isn’t as large, but still bigger than most monkeys.

We saw a few groups along the Kinabatangan River during our evening cruises. Here you can see them hanging about.

Then it was time for them to settle down for the night.



Such odd, but wonderful creatures.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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33 Responses to Now that’s a nose

  1. Oh boy, ALF has lots of relatives over there doesn’t he? LOL!! How do they ever rest with that many scary creatures looking to eat them for supper? I would be having constant anxiety attacks :).

  2. Beth Ann says:

    Oh my goodness I love them. What great shots and what a great adventure! I am trying to catch up with your posts from the past couple of weeks—I have a lot to read!!! I love these guys!!!

    • TBM says:

      They are incredible animals and it was a kick to sit in the boat and watch them jump around in the trees. I hope your life has slowed down some. Goodness just reading all that you’ve been up to made me want to take a nap.

  3. I just wanna know who gave them that ridiculous name… surely a hooter like that was quite enough!

  4. I think they’re beautiful, nothing wrong with a big nose, I say!

    • TBM says:

      Well if you are going to have a big nose, why not go all out have one like this. They are beautiful creatures, but people give me a hard time since I think that about most critters no matter what.

  5. Carol says:

    I’ve seen them on tv – they are so cool. I would love to see one in real life.

  6. I’m always amazed at how closely primates resemble humans – just look at the way they sit and interact. Very human-like.
    Of course that nose is a different story!

  7. Novroz says:

    I didn’t know it is callef like that. We have different name for thay monkey…but I can’t get it out of my brain right now.

    The monkey is the mascot of one of Jakarta’s oldest theme park. We often call it monyet dufan (dufan’s monkey) Dufan is the theme park’s name. and that’s why I can’t remember its real name here

    • TBM says:

      Dufan’s monkey–I’ll have to remember that!

      • Novroz says:

        I finally remember its name 🙂
        its name is Bekantan Monkey or Dutch Monkey. Some call it Dutch Monkey because it looks like a westerner, long nose and blonde.

      • TBM says:

        I love the reason for calling it a Dutch Monkey. I’m not Dutch but I had to go look in the mirror to see if my nose is too big.

  8. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow, there are so many of them! How thrilling to be able to see this.

  9. fgassette says:

    Cute little fellows. Sometimes a large nose brings character to the face. 🙂


  10. The Hook says:

    Incredible shots!

  11. looks a bit like jimmy durante (i’m dating myself)

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