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Crazy Alphabet Challenge (with a twist): the letter N: Nasique

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For the letter N, I want to present to you this unusual looking monkey called in French a « Nasique » (latin: Nasalis Larvatus) while in English it is named Proboscis monkey. In French a « Nasique » is often called appropriately a « long nez » (long-nosed monkey) or a « singe à trompe » (monkey with a trunk). 

The « Nasalis » is indigenous to Asia on the island of Borneo where it lives within the mangrove forests near rivers or in tropical humid forest of the plains. Borneo is located in South East Asia near Indonesia.

The « nasique » is aptly called for his nasal appendage which is soft and flat. The male just like the female exhibit this long nose. But the male’s nose is twice as big and can be also twice as long as the female. In fact a male’s nose can go down as low as its chin and measure as long as 7 cm (2 inches). The bigger and the longer the nose of a male, the biggest chance he will become a seductive suitor to a female. When the « nasique » becomes excited, its nose becomes almost round and red because of increased blood flow towards it. The nose of a “proboscis” monkey also serves him to amplify its cry and will grow during all its life which can be an average of as long as 15 years. 

The male « nasique « can measure between 66 to 76 cm (26 to 30 inches) tall and weigh 16-24 kg (35-53 pounds). Its tail is just as long as its height. The female, smaller in stature, can measure from 53-61 cm (21-24 inches) tall and weigh from 7-11 kg (15-24 pounds) and her tail is the same as its height. The female gives birth all the time to only one « nasique » baby after a gestation period of about 166 days. It is to be noted that the « nasique » has no precise time of the year to mate, thus there is a lot of fun going on in the « nasique » community. 

The « nasique » monkey is strictly vegetarian. It feeds on leaves, fruits depending on the season. This monkey then eats mostly leaves from June to December and mostly unripened fruits from January to May. 

The « nasique » moves about on all four, can jump from tree to tree and also swims just like a dog as far away as 1.5 km (0.9 miles) away from the island. This monkey is also an excellent climber and can jump in the water from a height as high as 15 meters (50 feet). The « nasique » also exhibits a heightened sense of danger and will often seek refuge under water till danger goes away. You can see below a photo of a nasique jumping from tree to tree taken by a family while apparently visiting Borneo.

Remarkably the « nasique » also can walk erect just like man and the gibbon. There were a few observations of a group of « nasiques » walking one behind the other with the females carrying their young ones on their hips just like a human female. 

The « nasique » has a few predators just like the crocodiles, leopards and eagles. But its most dangerous enemy remains man who either hunts him for its meat or its organs for Chinese medicine or is encroaching on its territory and destroying the mangrove forest. In fact the « nasique » is considered a threatened species. The « nasique » is protected by law in all of the island of Borneo and it is also protected by a certain number of laws in Malaysia. 

The origin of the word « nasique » is from the latin « nasica » (meaning a pointed nose). The prononciation is pretty straightforward. The « nasi » is just like in « nasica ». The last segment is just like « ca » but instead of an « a » at the end, you just finish with a « q » and you do not have to pronounce the letter « e » at the end. 

So this was the letter N. Hope you enjoyed it. See you soon enough for the letter O. 

What do you think?

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Written by HistoryGal

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  1. I know this monkey, we call it Bekantan, they and Orangutan, their colleague is indeed a native animal of Kalimantan, part of Indonesia which was once called Borneo. A small part of Kalimantan (The third largest island in the world) is owned by Malaysia (26%) and Brunei Darussalam 1%).

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