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Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Making of Spirit Bear #2: Faces in the Crowd

There comes a moment in the jungles, after the first few days of frenzied surveillance and field research, when you settle down, figure out your likely locations, and just wait for things to happen. And that's the moment when the wilderness gradually starts to accept you as part of the landscape...

It was no different this time in Sri Lanka, while waiting for the stars of our show to make their grand entrance. And boy did we have to wait - but that was not necessarily a bad thing, because we had time to acquaint ourselves with other residents of the reserve - who spent as much time watching us, as we did them...

One of the most familiar faces in the foliage are Toque Macaques, a species endemic to Sri Lanka, but similar to the Bonnet Macaques of India. Each is characteristically distinguished by the curious "hairdo" (toque) that they possess.

The individual hairstyles are as unique as fingerprints, and are used to identify each macaque in field studies. Anyway it didn't take long before they allowed even the youngest members of their clan to come take a look at the strange bipedal monkeys...



Hello... who are these strange looking animals then?


Not another herd of wildlife film-makers...


Oh well, better assume the "cute baby" pose then...

1 comment:

Kuba said...

Very curious... I knew of these macaques, but I never knew that their "hair styles" were that unique.