Teach your Silver-Leaf Langur well

We’ve just been informed the National Geographic Photo contest has announced their winners… Here’s one of them, courtesy of the fine folks over at Nat Geo. It’s called “Baby Gibbon Gets Schmutz Taken Off Cheek by Mom”



  1. most excellent headline, Meg

  2. But… It doesn’t match.

  3. “Mommy says I has a flair”

  4. Mom-spit from ANY species will clean ANYTHING off ANY cheek! LOL

  5. Absolutely adorable, but headline fail. That’s not a gibbon, it’s a silvered langur.
    Still very excited to see these guys though – this is the family group of langurs I study!

  6. Queen of Dork says:

    ButtaRumCake: I’ve been trying to tell my daughter that for years.

  7. “Teach…. your gibbon well…
    Their father’s smell…
    Did slowly waft by…”

  8. Wow, this is a precious pic. What an adorable little family they make.

  9. That’s not a gibbon! It’s not even an ape – it’s a silvered leaf monkey, Presbytis cristatus (sometimes listed as Trachypithecus cristatus). The newborns are orange.

  10. berthaservant says:

    Gibbon, shmibbon! Who knew that the Silver Leaf Monkeys had jewish grandmothers?

  11. No mather the species mom will always do theyre stuff
    amazing picture

  12. AuntieMame says:

    LOL! The juxtaposition of the stunning photograph (the lighting is amazing) with the usage of “schmutz” in the title. Hahahaha!! 😀 😀 😀

  13. darn it all! ButtaRumCake beat me to my comment! Yay for the use of the word Schmutz!

  14. biscuithead says:

    Mama’s de-schmutzing the widdle orange fella’s punim!

  15. @AnnSomerville I’m going by the title the author gave it on the Nat Geo site… perhaps they were mistaken? Teach your Silver Leaf Monkeh well?

  16. Love how spit instantly becomes 409 when one becomes a mom! “C’mere sweetie, you got some schmutz on yer face!” “But Moooooooooom!”

  17. Catherine says:

    My roommates and I are all on the dining room table studying for finals. The room is pin-drop quiet. “Schmutz” made me laugh SO loud. And then abruptly shut up. Thank you, Meg, for the awkward moment.

  18. @Meg It’s definitely a mistake, but not your fault you followed their identification. And in fact, I’ve been told off camera that it’s actually an Ebony leaf monkey (Trachypithecus auratus). Still cute as all get out though 🙂

  19. brings tears to my eyes, what a lovely picture

    how does one doubt evolution, and animal emotions, etc, when one sees something like this?

  20. A mommy is a mommy is a mommy. And schmutz is schmutz. 😀

    How loving and spiritual that picture is. ❤

  21. Andi from NC says:

    @ceejoe – I’m with you – a little tear in my eye and a few goosebumps to boot.

    There’s something so precious and tender about this pic – NatGeo picked a real winner!

  22. 260Oakley says:

    Oh little primate, don’t you worry. I’m the only redhead in my family too, and despite all the “The mailman brought you” jokes, they still love me.

  23. But, “Teach Your Silver Leaf Monkey well” just doesn’t work. Gibbon = children? I’m all for accuracy and all, but I’m with you, Meg.

  24. The word from the Columbus Zoo is that they are silver-leaf langurs.

  25. “Teach your langur welll,” works. 🙂

    That is really an outstanding photo!

  26. oh, meant to say, @ carol: GOOD!!!! 😀

  27. Ha! Carol, I want to hang out with you. And this is a beautiful photo!

  28. Is “Schmutz” a zoological term? ;-P

    [Yiddiological, actually – Ed.]

  29. Yes, Kar, it is. Just ask the folks on doo-patrol.

  30. Just an observation and a remembrance- Now, my parents weren’t that furry, I wonder what it is like to have such furry parents? Mom never let me cling.

  31. This sort of erroneous identification of langurs as gibbons no doubt presages the Decline and Fall of Cuteoverload.

    [Indubitably. – Ed.]

  32. 260Oakley says:

    If this debate goes on any langur, I’m gibbon up on it.


  33. 260Oakley: Ouchies! 😀

  34. Straight from the national geographic site:

    Photo and caption by Xen Riggs, United States

    Nature Honorable Mention
    A newly born silver-leaf langur gets some early discipline and love from his doting parents. This baby monkey was just about 12 hours old, born at the Columbus, Ohio, Zoo in August of 2009.

    In any case….cute behbeh!!

  35. the mom preens him, in anticipation of the day he accepts his Nobel, dreaming of what she’ll tell the gals in her bridge club in florida. wonder if the Monkees will play at the bar mitzvah?

  36. Aquamarine: Yes.

  37. Oh you poor baby, you want to stop your mom from doing that to you? Do what I did in church when I was four, when your mom come at you the spittle moisten Kleenex say in a very loud voice: “No mom please don’t spit in my face”. Believe me she wont do it again! Of course you may have a problem sitting for the next few days….

  38. @260Oakley Bwahahahahahaha…

  39. A monkeh-bebbeh by any other name is still the same: Qte, Qte, Qte……….. 😉

    @JME: ummmmmm; I think it would take more than one erroneous identification to cause the demise of CO; it would require more than wishful thinking on one person’s part; :mrgreen:

  40. @Gigi, excellent!

  41. And so it is. says:

    *sigh* Count on the people who just find animals cute to not notice that the primates in the photo are not gibbons.

  42. Gigi, I’m no longer in my 30’s and my mother is still trying to pull that schtick. And my father still pulls at my shirt to clean his glasses.

    You’d think we’re still in pre-school.

  43. Argyle Donkeypants says:

    The word “schmutz” may be a Yiddishism, but the concept of schmutz is universal among any species with thumbs that can be licked and used to clean a young’un’s face in front of his or her friends.

    I tell you what, though, if Mrs. Langurstein pulls out a schmata and goes after my punim, I’m runnin’ the other way.

  44. Theadosia says:

    @Kar and Gigi

    I’m in my forties and, until I finally lost it with them and laid down the law a couple of years ago, my parents would break into my house, do my dishes and re-arrange the furniture. The meltdown came after they re-painted my kitchen without consultation (awful colour, too).

    This may have some bearing on my ongoing mental health issues…..

  45. 5^^now8ing says:

    @Catherine: I want to enroll in the course where studying for finals involves CO!

  46. 260Oakley says:

    @JME Very clever literary reference (#32). Took me forever to get it, but that speaks more to the density of the reader than the wit of the author.

  47. 5^^now8ing says:

    Speaking on behalf of dense readers everywhere: what is JME’s reference to? (260O being a recognized arbiter of wittiness!)

  48. I thought this practice was of Irish grandmother decent and the offending material was called “yucky”. Who knew??!!!

    My Jewish daughter-in-law who is preggers just informed me that she will NEVER do this!!! She is so young–in about 8 months she will be going to the Target with puke on her shirt and she will be wiping a nose on the hem of the same shirt!


    You guys are soooooooooo helpful pointing out errors! Got confirmation that indeed, the animals pictured about are Silver-Leaf Langurs. Title of post: Changed!

    Senior Fact-Checking Correspondent

  50. Donkey pants=====ROFLMAO!!!

  51. 260Oakley says:

    @5^^now8ing “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” was written by Edward GIBBON. It’s the sort of thing you learn in World Cultures in high school, forget by the time you’ve left the classroom, and then vaguely remember decades later when someone mentions it in a blog.

  52. @260Oakley… imagine how my sister feels; she’s redheaded, and has curly hair…. well technically it has darkened to a shade of auburn known as absolutely gorgeous (at least by her jealous sister… who had boring old straight-as-a-ruler brown hair). And yes, I still hate/love her.

  53. Carol, beat me to it. One of my all time favorite songs. (Yes, I’m a child of the 60s!)

    Gorgeous photo – the lighting! Wow!!

  54. 5^^now8ing says:

    260O: Thanks! I was THINKIN’ Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire — dang, shoulda looked it up to discover/remind myself of its author, insteada revealin’ my ignoramosity so publicly! That’s what happens when yer too lazy to even Google something. 😉

  55. Rich Fader says:

    “I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you…”

  56. soooooooo “helpful”, um. yeah.

    Such a beautiful picture! GO-JUSS. I only wish you could see the adults faces a bit more.

  57. This is a very touching picture. Thanks for posting!

    My own lil’ one turned 19 months old the other week…I swore I would never do anything like in this pic, and what am I doing? Exactly that, all the time!!!

    I swear, he’s going to hate me for it one day…lol. Wonderful pic! 😀

  58. Theadosia, that is ridiculous. I’d move them immediately to a lovely retirement home in FL called Shadey Pines.

  59. LOL, this reminds me of my family. My husband and I are both brunettes, brown eyes, and our son is strawberry blond and blue eyed. Glad to know we aren’t the only ones who get double takes!