There are now 24 recognised macaque species. The macaques are a diverse and highly successful group, with the broadest distribution of any nonhuman primate, from the tropical islands of Sulawesi to the to the snowy Atlas mountain tops in Moroccco. With each species adapted to thrive in their natural habitat, different macaque species exhibit not only varying morphological adaptations, but also different social behaviour.
The Complex Social Lives Of Macaques
All macaque species share a similar social organisation: they live in large, mixed-sex social groups of up to several hundred animals. In all species, males disperse to a new group once they reach sexual maturity, while females remain in the group where they were born throughout their lives. However, different macaque species differ greatly in the structure of their social networks. In some macaque species, individuals form strong bonds with only a few preferred partners, whereas in other species relationships are more undifferentiated and individuals are tolerant towards most of their group members. Similarly, in some species only a single or a few males breed and sire all offspring, whereas in others, it’s a bit of a free-for-all!
Why not try our fun quiz, where you answer 10 questions to find out which of 6 species of macaque matches your personality best? It only takes 5-10 minutes - perfect to fill coffee breaks or as a procrastination activity (we won’t tell anyone)!