Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, as they are often called, are native to Japan and live in mountainous, deep-forested areas in some of the coldest environs of any primates other than human beings. The ambient temperature ranges from as low as 5°F in the winter months to over 70°F in the summer. Snow monkeys have thick coats to survive the cold winters, are good swimmers, and soak in natural hot springs to keep warm during the winter.
Snow monkeys live in troops. They have strong social bonds, particularly among the females. Each troop is led by a dominant alpha male. Their normal lifespan is 25-30 years. They eat plants, nuts, fruits, and some insects, foraging during the day and roosting in trees at night.
Bonnet macaques are native to India. Their natural habitat ranges from wet lowlands to dry deciduous forests up to 2000 meters. The name bonnet arose because of the way the fur on their head is formed, resembling a hat. The tail is often two-thirds the length of the body. Group sizes range from 3 to around 80 individuals. The bonnet macaque has a multimale-multifemale social system. Females remain in their natal group with the onset of maturity, but males will disperse shortly before adolescence. There is a hierarchical system amongst group members based upon the matriline.
Like other macaques, the lifespan of a bonnet can be 30 years. They are active during the day, spending their time in trees and on the ground. Their diet consists of fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, cereals, and insects and other small animals.
Pig-tailed macaques occupy a wide range of habitat throughout Southeast Asia and derive their common name from the mostly hairless, short tail they carry elevated above the haunches — often looking very much like a pig's tail. They prefer undisturbed forests and especially rain forests. Over 70 percent of their diet in the wild consists of fruit, with the rest made up of insects, leaves, fungus, dirt and almost anything else edible.
Like many other species of macaques, almost all pig-tailed females remain in their natal group for life, while the males leave to find other groups as they reach sexual maturity at 4 to 6 years of age. When these young males enter a new group they start out as the lowest-ranking males and have to work their way up the ladder by showing social skills, intelligence, adaptability and sometimes aggression.
Though troop size can reach more than 80 individuals, pig-tailed macaques studied in the wild have been found to be relatively quiet compared to some other macaque species, but do employ a wide range of vocalizations that they use to communicate effectively as needed.
The biggest threat to the long-term stability of wild pig-tailed macaques is the severe deforestation occurring at an alarming rate throughout much of their natural range. Boycotting items containing palm oil is something everyone can do to help slow the devastation.
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