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.
An adult Long-tailed macaque grows to length of approximately 38-55 cm.
However, the arms and legs are comparatively quite short. The tail,
which is longer than the body, grows to a length of 40-65 cm. Females
are shorter than males (5-9 kg), weighing about 3-6 kg. A newborn
macaque weighs only 350 g and has black fur. As it grows older, the fur
turns to yellow-green, gray-green, or reddish-brown color.
Connection with Science
Crab-eating macaques have been used to a large extent by researchers in
their medical experiments. The primate is a carrier of B-virus
(Herpesvirus simiae). At the same time, it is believed to be a possible
vector for monkey pox also.
Long-tailed macaque is a social animal, which is usually found in
groups of anywhere between five and sixty members. On an average, the
number of female members in a group is twice or thrice the number of
males. The group size depends on the level of predation and availability
of food. The males keep on moving in and out of the group, but female
members remain attached to the same group throughout their life. The
high-ranking males of a group are generally more successful at
reproduction. At the same time, the high-ranking females are usually
better at raising surviving offspring.
The gestation period of Indian Crab-eating macaque is 167 to 193 days
and the number of offspring born is one.
The natural habitat of Indian Cynomolgus monkeys is not very
restricted. It extends to primary lowland rainforests, secondary
rainforests, riverine and coastal forests of nipa palm and mangrove of
India. They can easily adjust with humans and will not encounter
problems while settling around a human inhabitation also. Long-tailed
macaques are found primarily in Malay Archipelago islands of Sumatra,
Java and Borneo, the islands of the Philippines, and the Nicobar Islands
of India. The species was also introduced in Anggaur Island of Palau,
western New Guinea, Mauritius and Hong Kong.
Crab-eating macaque of India eats a wide variety of animals, plants,
and other materials. Approximately 60 to 90 percent of its diet
comprises of fruits and seeds and the rest includes leaves, flowers,
roots and bark. The macaque also devours vertebrates, invertebrates and
Threat to Biodiversity
Long-tailed macaque can become a threat to the biodiversity of the
areas where it is non-native. However, the same does not apply to the
native habitat of the primate.
Cynomolgus Monkeys are ranked as the third largest of all the primate
species, after humans and Rhesus macaques. IUCN Red List has categorized
them in the 'Lower Risk' category and CITES has listed them in the
Subspecies of Long-tailed Macaque