Detroit Zoo Snow Monkey

Japanese macaque (snow monkey)

At the Detroit Zoo

The Japanese macaque habitat is home to 10 females whose social structure is built around lineage. At the top of this matriarchal society is Ms. Baldy (so named for the bald spot on her forehead) followed by her daughter, Marilynn, and granddaughter, Julianne. During feeding time, these three are the first to eat. They are also the most-often groomed by the habitat's other residents. The middle rank is comprised of Crissy and her three daughters Carmen, Griffin and Laura. The bottom rank includes Janet, her daughter Lynda and the only macaque without kin inside the habitat, Madeline. These three are the last to eat – which accounts for their smaller size – and spend the most time grooming the troop's higher-ranking members. This helps establish and maintain the hierarchy among them. The Japanese macaques, also known as snow monkeys, can often be seen basking in the warm steam from their hot tub and entertaining guests with their playful antics in their habitat next to the lions.

Description

The Japanese macaque has a stout body, strong limbs and a short tail. Its coat has long, dense fur that varies in color from brown to grey. Each adult has exposed red skin on its face and posterior.

 

Scientific nameMacaca fuscata fuscata

Continent: Asia, only in Japan

Habitat: Broadleaf, deciduous and evergreen forests

Size: 1 to 2 feet; tail can be 2 feet

Weight: Males can be 24 pounds; females can be 18 pounds

Diet: The Japanese macaque is omnivorous, eating leaves, fruit, berries, seeds, small animals, insects and fungi.

Reproduction:Gestation 173 days; single infant

Lifespan: 18-24 years

Conservation Status: Least Concern


FUN FACTS


The Japanese macaque is thought to display culture, or learned behaviors, by passing on knowledge through a troop and potentially through generations. 

 

The Japanese macaque can be seen sitting in naturally occurring hot springs to avoid extreme winter conditions.

 

Detroit Zoo Japanese Macaque in the News

snow-monkeyWhen the air turns cold, there's still plenty to see at the Detroit Zoo, including the snow monkeys.

Zoo director Ron Kagan introduces us to the zoo's troop of monkeys, who can be found lounging in the hot tub during the cold winter months. (Source: MyFox Detroit)

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Watch the Japanese macaque feature by Joe Ballor of the Daily Tribune here