mutualism - langur monkey curing cow's ear (india)

Langur Black-faced Monkey curing cow's ear (India)

The cow is letting the monkey clean bugs from its ear.­ The monkey eats the tasty bugs it finds in the cow's ear.­ They both get something good out of it.­ This is called "mutualism" (wikipedia article about mutualism).­

Shortly after taking this photo, i witnessed a funny scene: another cow came close to another of those monkeys, apparently because she too wanted her hear scratched and cleaned.­ But that other monkey was not interested, and he gave small punches to the cow's head to tell her to go away.­ But the cow just did not bunged, she kept getting her head close to the monkey.­ The monkey was clearly very upset that the cow was so insistent!

black-face monkey cow ears gray langur mutualism semnopithecus entellus symbiosis wildlife

Photos of cows, and related bovine animals (e.­g.­ calves, oxes, bulls, water buffaloes, yacks).­

I have not included photos of butchered cows (body-parts and meat, i.­e.­ beef).­ Those can be seen in my Meat Markets series.

Photos taken during a 7-week, 7000 Km motorcycle tour across parts of India (Delhi, Rajasthan, Ladakh, Kashmir, Jammu and more) in May-June 2009.­

Photos of Gray Langur monkeys, sometimes called black-faced monkeys.­

They are generally not aggressive toward humans.­ Many people feed them in temples, and there are colonies of those monkeys living on roofs and in abandoned buildings and temples in some cities.­

For more information on these monkeys, please read the Wikipedia article: en.­wikipedia.­org/­wiki/­Gray_­langur