It is divided into two subspecies: Semnopithecus Priam Priam, which lives in India, and Semnopithecus Priam Thersites, which lives in Sri Lanka.

When it comes to the evolution of these two subspecies, there are two competing theories. Some believe that Semnopithecus Priam descended from the subspecies Semnopithecus Vetulus Philbricki, which is the ancestor of the species. With the glacial fluctuations and the separation of the Indian subcontinent, two taxa were separated, but both kept crucial adaptations to Folivory and a stomach similar to that of a ruminant. Following that, S. Priam invaded India, where it crossed a land bridge, and divided into two subspecies of S. Priam, which are now extinct. According to the other theory, the Sri Lankan subspecies S. Priam Thersites evolved from the endemic S. Vetulus, whereas the Indian subspecies S. Priam Priam evolved from the S. Johnii, resulting in genetic differences between the two S. Priam subspecies. The genetic differences between the two S. Priam subspecies are a result of the genetic differences between the two S. Priam subspecies.

Physical Characteristics

The distance between the head and the body is between 55 and 80 cm (22 to 31 in)

Tail length ranges from 75 to 90 centimeters (30 to 35 in)

An adult’s weight ranges between 11 and 20 kg (24 to 44 lb)

Males are significantly larger than females.

The average adult weighs 12.8 kg (28 lb) and measures 61.1 cm from the top of the head to the bottom of the body (24.1 in).

It is estimated that the Indian subspecies have a somewhat larger body than the Sri Lankan subspecies, which normally weigh between 6.8 and 13.4 kg (15 and 30 lb).

Despite its slightly smaller size in Sri Lanka, the tufted gray langur is the largest native primate on the island, according to average body size measurements.

The dorsal portion of the Sri Lankan subspecies is gray to brownish-gray in hue, with the color becoming deeper with age. The underparts of the bird are a pale grayish color. There is a short beige beard and sideburns on display. It gets its name because the hairs on the crown form a characteristic pointed tuft or crest that joins at a central point, hence the name. The brows are black and protrude outward. The head is only somewhat paler or not paler than the back. Hands and feet are the same hues as the rest of the body.

Habitat

Tufted gray langurs can be found in large numbers in Sri Lanka’s dry zone woods, as well as in and around human settlements. Many thousands of troops can be found at archaeologically significant areas like Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, and Sigiriya, among others. Hambantota, Yala National Park, and Tissamaharama are among the locations where the animal can be found in the southern part of the island.

Ecology

In spite of being a shy creature, tufted gray langurs are semi-adventurous, semi-terrestrial, and diurnal in their habits. When there is no risk, they always find a way to descend to the earth. However, in contrast to their sympatric relatives that dwell in the canopy, they are more prevalent in urban populations, where they can be found in gardens and among other huge fruit trees like Mangifera indica and Artocarpus heterophyllus.

Diet

Tufted gray langurs are mostly folivorous, however, they enjoy a variety of vegetarian foods. They have been observed to consume fruits and seeds. Langurs differ from leaf monkeys in that the latter are known to eat mature, fleshy fruits, whereas langurs are known to eat fibrous fruits that are partially dried and brittle. Sri Lankan subspecies are reported to consume the leaves of Drypetes Sepiaria, Dimocarpus longan, Ficus Microcarpa, Holoptelea Integrifolia, as well as the fruits and seeds of Hydnocarpus Venenata, Ficus Arnottiana, and Macaranga Peltata, among other plants.

Sometimes, the troops can be seen near the water bodies, where they feed on Nelumbo nucifera seeds. Insects and evergreen leaves are consumed when other meals are less abundant and bark is only eaten when there is no other food available. The Gray Langur’s diet is heavy in strychnine, which can be detrimental to animals. Therefore, it will commonly ingest the gum of the Sterculia Urens to counteract the effects. This gum is marketed in England as a prescription laxative known as Normacol.

Predators

Leopards and black eagles are the primary predators of tufted gray langurs, with black eagles being the most dangerous. Aside from them, siblings and subadults are occasionally attacked by tigers, dholes, gray wolves, mugger crocodiles, and Indian rock pythons, among other predatory animals.

Behavior

Tufted gray langurs are primarily philopatric, which means that they tend to stay within their own territory. A single unit may consist of anywhere from 20 to 50 individuals. When it comes to huge forces, massive male-female combinations are used to lead them, whereas tiny soldiers are commanded by an alpha male. In contrast to the natural estrous cycle, females swiftly reach their heat and mate with a new alpha male, even if they are not ready for reproduction at that time.

After 6 months of gestation, a female langur gives birth to a single kid or, in rare cases, twins, depending on the circumstances. After delivery, the baby remains attached to the mother for around three months, receiving all of the necessary nutrition and other care. Typically, subadult males and other males occupy their time with activities like looking for food, competing with nearby alpha males, and protecting the flock. Females spend their time caring for their young, feeding them, combing them, and even playing with them.

Tufted gray langurs communicate in a variety of ways, including barks, grunts, whoops, whistles, and howls, among other things. The coughing voice is intended to create stress, and the whistling voice is meant to indicate a loss of contact with the group. Because of the tufted gray langur monkey’s excellent eyesight and ability to sit on the branches of tall trees, it can easily identify predators. It has been observed by researchers that this species will frequently perch adjacent to herds of spotted deer, alerting them when a predator is coming. Furthermore, the langur will frequently drop fruit from lofty trees, which the Spotted Deer would then consume. Meanwhile, the Spotted Deer’s keen sense of smell allows it to identify predators early on and warn the langur when something is in the vicinity of its burrow.

Tufted gray langur monkeys communicate in a variety of ways, including barks, grunts, whoops, whistles, and howls. When it comes to huge forces, massive male-female combinations are used to lead them, whereas tiny soldiers are commanded by an alpha male. In contrast to the natural estrous cycle, females swiftly reach their heat and mate with a new alpha male, even if they are not ready for reproduction at that time. Researchers have observed that this species will frequently perch adjacent to herds of spotted deer, alerting them when a predator is coming. Meanwhile, the Spotted Deer’s keen sense of smell allows it to identify predators early on and warn the langur when something is in the vicinity of its burrow.

Conservation

The tufted gray langur is designated as a “Near Threatened” species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, due to a drop in population numbers in recent years. Hunting and habitat damage are also contributing factors to the extinction of the species. In some places of Sri Lanka, people are also fond of eating langur flesh, which is a delicacy. There have only been a handful of documented instances of people being apprehended for their dogs. A large number of conservation projects are being carried out in Sri Lankan and Indian forests and wildlife sanctuaries.

Both Thersites and Priam are considered “Near Threatened” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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