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Macaque

The macaques ([1] or ) constitute a genus (Macaca ) of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae.

Contents


Description

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, to North Africa. 22 macaque species are currently recognised, and they include some of the monkeys best known to non-zoologists, such as the rhesus macaque, Macaca mulatta, and the barbary macaque, 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 greater relationship to the true apes than any other Old World monkeys.

In some species skin folds join the second through fifth toes, almost reaching the first metatarsal joint.[2]

Social behavior

Macaques have a very intricate social structure and hierarchy. If a macaque that is lower level in the social chain has eaten berries and there are none 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.[3]

Human usage

Several species of macaque are used extensively in animal testing, particularly in the neuroscience of visual perception and the visual system.

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.[4] A 2005 University of Toronto study showed that urban performing macaques also carried simian foamy virus, suggesting they could be involved in the species-to-species jump of similar retroviruses to humans.[5]

Species

Stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides) Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) Pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina)

Genus Macaca

Prehistoric (fossil) species:

See also

References

External links

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Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article



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