Did You See This?

Why Dark-Furred Monkeys Give Birth to Orange Babies

Adorable results of “allomothering.”

In the video above, we meet two of the Columbus Zoo’s newborns: a pair of silvered leaf langurs. And their expressions will cut straight to your heart. One of these adorable cuddlers was the zoo’s first 2016 birth, and the other was born in December.

While the zoo knows December’s child is a female, the younger one’s sex is still unknown, and neither has a name yet. They share a father, Thai, who’s four and a half years old, while Patty, 16, gave birth in December, and Gumby, 14, had hers in January. Both moms are experienced caregivers, and, as you can see, the young are doing well.

Langurs are born bright orange, but start to change to an adult’s black fur with silver tips at about six months old. The orange coloring is believed to help the females in a langur community keep track of, and help raise, the kids—this is referred to as “allomothering.”

Columbus Zoo has other langurs—one “troop” with eight bachelors; two nonbreeding pairs; and a third trip to which these newborns, their dad, and moms belong. Langurs come from Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and as with many other local species, their habitats are under threat—in their case, as a result of palm-oil harvesting and forest fires.