Gray Languror Hanuman Langur is a native of South Asia. Hanuman Langur is believed to be one of the Old World monkeys, belonging to the Semnopithecus Genus. They comprise of 15 subspecies and are terrestrial in nature. Earlier hanuman langurs were believed to comprise of a single species. However, now they are recognized as seven distinct species. Hanuman langur is also known by the name of Gray Langur, Entellus Langur and Common Indian Langur.
The monkey got its name from a Hindu god and is considered sacred. Legend says the monkey god, Hanuman, burned down a town to save a woman and was consequently ensured in the blaze. The black face and hands of the langur are thought to represent Hanuman’s burns.
The langur is mostly gray with some silver or beige shading. Some langurs may be brown. The male’s measure up to 75 cm (2.4 ft), and females measure up to 65 cm (2.1 ft). Their snakelike tales can reach as long as 101 cm (3.3 ft). The male weighs around 18 kg (39.6 lbs), while the female weighs around 11 kg (24.2 lbs). Northern langurs are generally bigger than the southern species.
Common Indian langurs survive on a diet comprising of leaves, fruit, buds and flowers. The exact diet, however, changes from season to season. During winters, they survive on a diet of mature leaves. In summer season, they mainly survive on fruits. Insects, tree bark and gum also supplement their diet. Hanuman langurs can easily digest seeds with high levels of the toxins and can eat even soil and stones.
Gray langur of India can usually be found living in large groups, dominated by a male langur. The membership of the group may be anywhere between 11 and 60. However, they hold the dominating position for a very short period only, which may stretch up to 18 months. Whenever a new male takes over the group, all the infants of the previous alpha male are killed. Entellus Langurs of India may form bachelor groups also.
Female langurs attain maturity at 3 to 4 years of age, while males achieve the same in 4 to 5 years. However, they start mating in the 6th or 7th year only. The gestation period is 190 to 210 days, after which a single infant is born. Only in very rare cases does a female langur give birth to two infants. Where there are a number of males in a group, only the high-ranking males can mate with any female. The other males get a chance to mate only if they manage to sneak by the high-ranking males.
Hanuman langurs walk on all fours. They easily climb and leap across tree limbs. Though they sleep in trees at night, most of their daytime activity in on the ground.
Gray langurs are large and fairly terrestrial; inhabiting forest, open lightly wooded habitats, and urban areas on the Indian subcontinent. Most species are found at low to moderate altitudes, but the Nepal gray langur and Kashmir gray langur occur up to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) in the Himalayas.