Discovery Channel/BBC
All Phayre's leaf monkeys share an orange hue in their infancy to make it easier for their parents to keep track of them.
updated 4/16/2010 12:36:22 PM ET 2010-04-16T16:36:22

It takes a village of Phayre's leaf monkeys to raise this golden monkey infant.

While they're babies, these monkeys, Trachypithecus phayrei, are showered with attention by other members of their group — which can include as many as 40 individuals.

Adult monkeys take turns looking after their helpless counterparts, allowing adults to work on their parenting skills and ensuring that babies are always looked after.

When an intruder or potential predator approaches the group, female Phayre's leaf monkeys will collect their young and run to safety, while the males stay behind and attempt to shout away the trespasser.

Although this golden monkey may appear to be an anomaly, all Phayre's leaf monkeys share this orange hue in their infancy to make it easier for their parents to keep track of them.

As early as three months after they are born, the infant monkeys' fur will gradually grow darker, eventually settling on a light gray hue.

Phayre's leaf monkeys are native to tropical forests in India, Bangladesh, Thailand and other areas along the Indian Ocean in southeast Asia.

They are listed as "Endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to habitat loss and hunting.

© 2012 Discovery Channel

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments