Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Macaque
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Macaque

Macaques

Crab-eating Macaque
Macaca fascicularis
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Primates
Family:Cercopithecidae
Genus:Macaca
Species
see text

The macaques form the genus Macaca of Old World monkeys.

Aside from humans (genus Homo), the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from northern Africa to Japan. Nineteen macaque species are currently recognised, and they include some of the monkeys best known to non-zoologists, such as the Rhesus Macaque (as the Rhesus Monkey), Macaca mulatta, and the Barbary Macaque (as the Barbary Ape), M. sylvanus, a colony of which lives on the Rock of Gibraltar. Although several species lack tails, and their common names therefore refer to them as apes, these are true monkeys, with no relationship to the great apes in family Hominidae or the lesser apes in family Hylobatidae.

Several species of macaque have been used extensively in medical research.

In the late 1990s it was discovered that nearly all (c. 90%) of pet or captive macaques are carriers of the herpes-B virus. This virus is harmless to macaques, however infections of humans, while rare, are potentially fatal.

In July 2004, Natasha, a Macaque monkey in Tel Aviv's Safari Park Zoo began walking upright after a serious stomach flu almost killed her. There has been some debate over whether or not this is evolution. Most scientists are in agreement that it is more likely to be Natasha having to adapt to pain walking on all fours caused by her illness or brain damage. Healthy Macaque monkeys will alternate between walking on all fours and walking upright.

External links