Online Encyclopedia

MACAQUE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 192 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MACAQUE, a name of French origin denoting the monkeys of the mainly Asiatic genus Macacus, of which one species, the Barbary ape, inhabits North Africa and the rock of Gibraltar. Displaying great variability in the length of the tail, which is reduced to a mere tubercle in the Barbary ape, alone representing the subgenus Iuuus, macaques are heavily-built monkeys, with longer muzzles than their compatriots the langurs (see PRIMATES), and large naked callosities on the buttocks. They range all over India and Ceylon, thence northward to Tibet, and east-wards to China, Japan, Formosa, Borneo, Sumatra and Java; while by some naturalists the black ape of Celebes (Cynopithecus niger) is included in the same genus. Mention of some of the more important species, typifying distinct sub-generic groups, made in the article PRIMATES. Like most other monkeys, macaques go about in large troops, each headed by an old male. They feed on seeds, fruits, insects, lizards, &c.; and while some of the species are largely terrestrial, the Barbary ape is wholly so. Docile and easily tamed when young, old males of many of the species become exceedingly morose and savage in captivity. (R. L.*)
End of Article: MACAQUE
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