Macaques are considered to be the second most-widespread species in the world, after humans. Their range stretches on from northern Africa to Japan. Macaques comprise of 22 species in toto, out of which seven can be found in India also. Since a number of macaque species lack tails, they are also known as apes. Various species of the Indian macaque are used for experimental purposes. In the following lines, we have provided information about the various species of Indian macaques:
Lion Tailed Macaque
Lion-tailed Macaque is one of the subspecies of macaque, found only in
the Western Ghats of South India. Known by the scientific name of Macaca
silenus, it has life expectancy of 20 years in the wild and upto 30
years in captivity. Lion-tailed macaques spend most of their time on
trees and are excellent swimmers.
Long Tailed Macaque
Long-tailed macaque is also known by some other names, like the
Crab-eating Macaque or the Cynomolgus Monkey. It is an arboreal macaque,
belonging to the Macaca genus, and has the scientific name of Macaca
fascicularis. A native of the Southeast Asia, the Crab-eating macaque of
India has also been flown into outer space.
Stump Tailed Macaque
Indian Stump-tailed macaque, also known as Bear macaque, is known by
the scientific name of Macaca arctoides. It can reach upto a length of
70 cm, at the maximum, excluding the tail that may grow upto 8 cm in
length. Indian Stump-tailed macaques weigh 6 to 13 kg and may live as
long as 30 years.
A typical macaque, the Rhesus monkey of India is believed to be one of
the best species of the Old World monkeys. It is an excellent swimmer
and enjoys water. Rhesus macaques are quite comfortable around humans
and have the tendency to move from rural to urban areas in search of
easy food. The average lifespan of Rhesus macaques is approximately 15
years in the wild.
Bonnet Macaque, an Old World monkey, is also known by the scientific
name of Macaca radiata. Found only in India, it has been named so
because of its physical appearance. Indian Bonnet macaques have a
cap-like whorl of hair on their head, which radiates outward from the
center. Since the coil of hair resembles a hat, they have been named as
Assam Macaque is a diurnal primate, which inhabits the regions
stretching from Nepal to Vietnam and Southern China. It is yellowish to
dark brown in color and has a hairless face. The color of the face is
red in case of adults. Assam Macaques are also known by the name of
Himalayan Macaque and Hill Monkeys in India.
Arunachal Macaque, scientifically known as Macaca munzala, is a native
primate of Arunachal Pradesh state of northeastern India. It is called
by the local population as Munzala, meaning monkey of the deep forest.
Arunachal Macaques were discovered by the Indian scientists in the year
Other Species of Macaque
The other macaque species, not found in India, comprise of:
M. sylvanus group