The white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is an endangered species of langur native to Guangxi, China. It was once thought to be a subspecies of the Cat Ba Langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), now considered native to Vietnam.
As the common name suggests, a tuft of white fur covers this primate’s head. The hair is lifted straight from the parting for a crazy hairstyle reminiscent of “Is that hair gel?” scene from the romantic comedy.
There’s Something About Mary starring Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz. (Google it!) Other strands of white hair stuck out wildly from the sides of the head, framing a hairless, dark-hued face characterized by dark eyes, a modest nose, and thin lips.
The dark ears are wrinkled on either side of the head. White goatee hairs blend into a white ruff, stopped by a thick layer of fur that covers the monkey’s entire body, including its long limbs, in a blackish hue. The fur is long and thick.
Black fur covers half to three-quarters of the total length of its long tail before giving way to white hairs.
The hands are black, and the feet are primarily black with gray accents. Mother Nature’s color palette allows these rare primates to blend into their limestone and karst habitat.
At birth, white-headed langurs appear to be an entirely different species of monkeys. Mother Nature has covered these babies in a glossy, fluffy, golden-orange fur layer.
Some wildlife biologists have speculated that this colorful coat helps mothers better track and care for their babies.
By about a year of age, babies’ coats resemble those of adults, initially turning gray before turning black. The ultimate furry punctuation mark in adulthood is the crazy white hairdo.
White-Headed Langur Facts
These leaf-eating primates are active during the day (making them diurnal) and most active at dawn and dusk (making them crepuscular).
White-headed langurs live in groups (called “troops“) of 9-12 individuals. Group size varies with habitat quality.
At the end of each day, the monkeys leave as a group. Although they choose a large tree as a roost for the night, they prefer crevices or caves.
White-headed langurs have large salivary glands that break down plant cellulose, lubricate food passage, and moisten the digestive system.
The characteristic of Old-World Monkeys is that the buttocks of white-headed langurs have thick, calloused pads called “ischial calluses” that provide the monkeys with comfort when seated.