Zoo Animals

Japanese Macaque - Photo by Patti Panda

Japanese macaque

 Macaca fuscata fuscata

At the Detroit Zoo
The Japanese macaque habitat is home to five females and one male, whose social structure is built around lineage. At the top of this matriarchal society are sisters Carmen, Laura and Griffin. During feeding time, these three are the first to eat. They are also the most-often groomed by the habitat’s other residents. The bottom rank includes Madeline and Lynda. These two 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 females are joined by Denny, the only male of the group, who is unrelated to any of the females. Denny is more dominant during the breeding season, which runs October through February, when the females will compete for his attention, and he is more submissive the rest of the year. 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 in the Asian Forest.

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 gray. Each adult has exposed red skin on its face and posterior.

Fun Facts

  • The Japanese macaque is thought to demonstrate 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.