The macaques (// or //) constitute a genus (Macaca) of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. The twenty-two species of macaques are widespread over Earth. Macaques are of some interest to human researchers for their intricate social structures and their usefulness in animal testing, particularly regarding eyesight.
Aside from humans (genus Homo), the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus), to North Africa and Southern Europe. Twenty-two macaque species are currently recognized, including some of the monkeys best known to non-zoologists, such as the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), and the barbary macaque, 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 greater relationship to the true apes than any other Old World monkeys.
Macaques have a very intricate social structure and hierarchy. If a macaque of a lower level in the social chain has eaten berries and none are left for a higher-level macaque, then the one higher in status can, within this social organization, remove the berries from the other monkey's mouth.
Relation with humans
Nearly all (73–100%) pet and captive macaques are carriers of the herpes B virus. This virus is harmless to macaques, but infections of humans, while rare, are potentially fatal, a risk that makes macaques unsuitable as pets.
A 2005 University of Toronto study showed urban performing macaques also carried simian foamy virus, suggesting they could be involved in the species-to-species jump of similar retroviruses to humans.
- M. sylvanus group
- Barbary macaque, M. sylvanus
- M. nemestrina group
- Lion-tailed macaque, M. silenus
- Southern pig-tailed macaque or beruk, M. nemestrina
- Northern pig-tailed macaque, M. leonina
- Pagai Island macaque, M. pagensis
- Siberut macaque, M. siberu
- Moor macaque, M. maura
- Booted macaque, M. ochreata
- Tonkean macaque, M. tonkeana
- Heck's macaque, M. hecki
- Gorontalo macaque, Macaca nigrescens
- Celebes crested macaque, M. nigra
- M. fascicularis group
- M. mulatta group
- M. sinica group
- Macaca anderssoni Schlosser, 1924
- M. jiangchuanensis Pan et al., 1992
- M. libyca Stromer, 1920
- M. majori Schaub & Azzaroli in Comaschi Caria, 1969 (sometimes included in M. sylvanus)
Self-portrait photograph of a crested black macaque
- Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 161–165. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.
- macaque pronunciation by Oxford Dictionaries
- Ankel-Simons, Friderun (2000). "Hands and Feet". Primate anatomy: an introduction. Academic Press. p. 340. ISBN 0-12-058670-3.
- Boussaoud, D.; Tanné-Gariépy, J.; Wannier, T.; Rouiller, E. M. (2005). "Callosal connections of dorsal versus ventral premotor areas in the macaque monkey: A multiple retrograde tracing study". BMC Neuroscience 6: 67. doi:10.1186/1471-2202-6-67. PMC 1314896. PMID 16309550.
- "The Life of Mammals" Hosted by David Attenborough, 2003 British Broadcasting Corporation. BBC Video
- Ostrowski, Stephanie R.; et al. "B-virus from Pet Macaque Monkeys: an Emerging Threat in the United States?". Emerging Infectious Diseases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) 4 (1). Retrieved January 2010.
- University of Toronto - News@UofT - Performing monkeys in Asia carry viruses that could jump species to humans (Dec 8/05)
- Hartwig, Walter Carl (2002). The primate fossil record. Cambridge University Press. p. 273. ISBN 0-521-66315-6.
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