Know Your Primate: Saturday Edition

Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Colobinae
Genus: Pygathrix
Species: Pygathrix nemaeus
Also known as the Red-shanked Douc Langur…


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The species Pygathrix nemaeus is actually composed of three subspecies. The red-shanked douc Langur, the black-shanked douc langur (P. nemaeus nigripes) and the grey-shanked douc langur (P. nemaeus cinerea). They are found in Vietnam and Cambodia and reside in tropical rain forests. They are an aboreal species and leaves constitute approximately 80% of their diet. In order to process the leaves they have a sacculated stomach containing bacteria to break down the cellulose. They them use RNASE1B to break down the bacteria. RNASE1B evolved via a duplication of pancreatic RNASE1 and contains several mutations that allow it to work more efficiently in acidic conditions of the stomach. The duplication event occured about four million years ago.
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Red-shanked douc langurs are a diurnal species and travel in groups of 4-14, although they have been found in groups as large as 50. The groups tend to be multi-male multi-female with each having their own dominance hierarchy.
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For more info go here (pdf) and here.

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One Response

  1. misspelling…they “them” use; they “then” use. Six sentences in on the first page.

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