Japanese Macaque

The only monkey found in Japan, the Japanese macaque is the sole primate other than man able to withstand a cold, snowy winter and near-freezing temperatures. In some parts of its range, it spends long periods immersed up to the neck in thermal pools. It is medium sized and well-built, with dense fur and long whiskers and beard. Active both on the ground and in trees, it feeds mainly on nuts, berries, buds, leaves and bark.

Social groups of up to 40 individuals live together, led by an older male. The relationship between females and their mothers is extremely important; as long as their mother lives, females remain in association with her, even when they have their own young, and such female groups are the core of a troop. Males stay with their mothers and kin until adolescence, when they may join a peripheral group of males that drifts between troops. After a period in such a group, or alone, the male joins a troop, usually not that of his birth.

Females give birth to 1 young after a gestation period of between 6 and 7 months.

Range: Japan.      

Habitat: High-altitude forest.

Size: Body: 19 3/4 - 29 1/2 in (50 - 75 cm). Tail: 9 3/4 - 11 3/4 in (25 - 30 cm).

Stump-tailed Macaque

Distinguished by its pink-tinged face, shaggy hair and short tail, the stump-tailed macaque is an aggressive, fearless monkey that often invades gardens and cultivated fields. It spends much of its time on the ground but also climbs up into trees sleep or to find food or a safe refuge, although it is not a particularly agile animal. Leaves, fruit, roots and crops, such as potatoes, are its main foods, and it usually picks up the items with its hands. Two cheek pouches are used for storing food, which is later removed and chewed at leisure. Stump-tailed macaques are active in the daytime and live in groups of 25 to 30, led by a dominant individual. Members of the group continually chatter and squeal to each other, and they also communicate by means of a wide range of facial expressions. Males are larger than females.

Little is known about reproduction in the wild, but females are thought to produce an infant every other year.

Range: Myanmar, S. China to Malaysia.

Habitat: Forest, cultivated land.

Size: Body: 19 3/4 - 27 1/2 in (50 - 70 cm). Tail: 1 1/2 - 4 in (4 - 10 cm).

Pigtail Macaque

This species of macaque occurs in the tropical zone. The porcine appearance of its short and essentially bare tail explains its common name.

Pigtail macaques prefer undisturbed rainforest areas where there is likely to be a plentiful supply of fruit all year round. They have become adept at raiding crops, however, particularly during thunderstorms. One of the troop will stay on guard, screaming loudly if a person is spotted. Some farmers have taken advantage of this, training young macaques to pick coconuts for them

Distribution: Occurs in Southeast Asia, from western India and Bangladesh to China, via Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia to parts of Indonesia, including Sumatra and Borneo.

Weight: 4.7 - 14.5 kg (10.4 - 32 lb); males are heavier.

Length: 56 - 85 cm (22 - 33 in).

Maturity: Females 3-4 years; males 6 - 8 years.

Gestation Period: About 165 days.

Breeding: 1; weaning occurs from 4 months.

Diet: Mainly vegetarian, eating fruit and plant matter, including corn and cassava crops, plus invertebrates.

Lifespan: Probably 10 - 15 years; up to 30 in captivity.


The face is a pale shade of pink, not deep red as in some macaques.


This is carried in a distinctive, half-erect porcine fashion, although it is not twisted in a corkscrew shape.


The coat is brown, paler around the face and white below.


Members of different troops may come into close contact with each other on occasion, but they are usually quite tolerant.

Young macaques are carried on their mother’s backs, and soon learn to use this vantage point to observe the world around them.

Crab-eating Macaque

The crab-eating macaque is one of the most widespread of the 20 species of macaque, most of which live in parts of the Indian subcontinent, southern China, South-east Asia and Indonesia. Crab-eating macaques live in groups of around 30 individuals, which consist of adult males and females and their young. Crab-eating macaques live in ordered societies based on dominance hierarchies. Dominant individuals often force lower-ranking animals away from the best feeding and resting sites and give them few opportunities to mate. Indeed, low-ranking females take longer to reach sexual maturity than high-ranking females because they eat less food. Although crab-eating macaques prefer mangroves and forests around rivers, they have adapted to a range of habitats and sometimes live among people in towns. These monkeys sometimes raid crops and orchards, and they can be aggressive to humans.

Crab-eating macaques have tails that are longer than their bodies, giving them their alternative name, the long-tailed macaque.

Distribution: Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Habitat: Forests, coastal mangroves and urban areas.

Food: Leaves, fruit, flowers, crustaceans, molluscs, insects, birds' eggs and small vertebrates.

Size: 40 - 47 cm (16 - 19 in); 3 - 7 kg (6.6 - 15 lb).

Maturity: Females 4 years; males 6 years.

Breeding: 1 young born every 2 years.

Life span: 35 years.

Status: Near threatened.