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a genus of lower catarrhine monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. The fur is yellow-brown, sometimes black. The ischial callosities are well-developed. The body length measures 34-65 cm, and the tail length 5-70 cm. The weight of the males varies from 3.5 kg (the crab-eating macaque) to 18 kg (the Japanese macaque); the females weigh less.

There are 12 species. One species, the Barbary ape, is found in Africa (Morocco, Algiers, Tunis) and in southwestern Europe (Rock of Gibraltar). The remaining 11 species are distributed in southern Asia. Ground-dwellers or tree-dwellers, the Macaca feed on fruits, roots, young leaves, rice, corn, potatoes, sugarcane, and insects and their larvae. The Formosa macaque and the crab-eating macaque eat mollusks and crustaceans. The Macaca generally live in groups of 10-20 individuals, although the Japanese macaques may form a group of several hundred individuals. The Macaca bear one offspring once a year, which reaches maturity at 3.5–4.5 years. The gestation period is five to sixth months.


Napier, J. R., and P. H. Napier. A Handbook of Living Primates. London-New York, 1967.