The Hanuman Langur- Asian leaf-eating monkey
Hanuman is the Hindu god of healing and worship and in many parts of India, the Hanuman langur is considered sacred. The Hanuman langur often travels in the company of Indian holy men. Many Hindus leave them unmolested and even permit them to freely plunder their grain shops. However, this has made the langurs fearless. During food shortages, humans often retaliate. They are also threatened by habitat loss. There are an estimated 230,000 Hanuman langurs left in India.
The Asian langurs belong to the family Cercopithecidae and subfamily Colobinae, or leaf-eating monkeys. The best known Asian leaf-eating monkey species is probably the Hanuman Langur, considered sacred by the Hindus of India.
The Hanuman Langur is adapted to eating tough food which others find indigestible. They can even eat seeds with high levels of the toxins like strychnine (Strychnos nox-vomica) and distasteful vegetation avoided by other creatures. They feed mainly on leaves and other vegetation but also search the ground for fallen fruit and nuts. They also snack on insects, fungi and tree gum. They may even eat soil or stones, probably for minerals to help detoxify their food. They are thus found in a wide range of habitats from the plains to forests.
Size: Head and body 41-78cm, tail 69-1m, 5-23kg. Male is larger than the female.