The Japanese Macaque

The Japanese Macaque is one of the most unique primates in the world. This is because of its red face and thick gray fur, its amazing behavior and their beautiful habitat.

The Japanese Macaque has an interesting body. When young, their face is pink, but as they mature their face turns red. They have a flat nose and thick lips. Their whitish-brown fur helps them blend in with the snow while keeping them warm. The average height is 1 foot and 1 foot wide. Amazingly women are 2/3 of the weight of males. Males weigh about 31 lbs. Females weigh about 20.5 lbs.

Japanese Macaques (Snow Monkey) live on the cold mountains and forests on the islands of Japan. The islands like Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Yakushima make a nice habitat for them. In winter temperatures can stay around 5 degrees, so they play in the snow. In summer it goes all the way to 73 degrees! Cliff ditches make a bath for macaques. In the forests the lush green canopies give them shade and shelter. Now companies destroy their homes just to make factories. Due to this they are becoming endangered.

When it comes to the Japanese Macaques behavior they are very tricky but at same time intelligent. To protect themselves they live in troops of 23 or more. Relationships between mates tend to last very long. Food is everywhere for them. They eat a variety of foods such as plants, fruit, insects and small animals. Japanese Macaques tend to play a lot, (mostly the younger monkeys in the winter.) They also steal crops from farmers.

The Macaques are despised by farmers because they steal crops from them when they don’t have much. Farmers traps in the fields and capture them and either put them in a zoo or shoot them. Small bombs are placed in fields to scare these scavengers away.

If you ever visit the Japanese Macaque in the mountains and forests of Japan, be sure to look for them. Remember to look for them either playing in the now or climbing trees. You’ll recognize their red face and gray fur. Maybe if you’re lucky enough, you'll see this primate in action.

by Cole C.

picture from Wikipedia

Back to Our Animal Stories