The Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is a species of Old World monkey. It lives both in trees and on the ground. It mainly eats fruit, but will also include 100 different plant species in its diet. It spends most of its day feeding and resting, the rest is occupied with traveling, grooming, and playing.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growi...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Rhesus macaques are either pale brown or gray, usually with pink faces. Their tails are quite long, they have a rib cage that is wider than average, with dorsal scapulae, and they have thirty-two teeth. They are charismatic monkeys and like to have fun and can be cheeky. Their coats have faded undertones on the underside. Their faces are furless and in adults - bright red, and adults also have bright red rumps. They have large cheek pouches for storing food while out foraging.
Rhesus macaques are native to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Afghanistan, Vietnam, southern China, and some neighboring areas. They have the widest geographic ranges of any non-human primate, occupying a great diversity of altitudes throughout Central, South, and Southeast Asia. Rhesus macaques may be found in forests, mangroves, scrub, grasslands, and mountainous regions. They also adapt well to human presence and form larger troops in human-dominated landscapes than in forests.
Rhesus macaques are social, diurnal, and both terrestrial and arboreal animals. They walk using four limbs, walking on the ground on both their toes and on the soles of their feet. They are very active and loud. They like being in the water and can swim well. They form groups of as many as 200 individuals, and when the size of a group reaches 80 to 100, a subgroup of females can split off to create a new group. Generally, groups are made up of several unrelated males, with many closely related females. Males and females within a group demonstrate a preference for high-ranking individuals of the opposite sex. Rhesus monkeys are not territorial. Every group of individuals generally has its own sleeping area. Confrontations between different groups are rare. When groups meet, usually the weaker group avoids the stronger one.
Rhesus macaques are omnivorous animals, eating seeds, roots, bark, fruits, and cereals. They have also been observed eating termites, grasshoppers, ants, and beetles. When the monsoon approaches, ripe fruits provide them with a much-needed source of water. When rhesus macaques live far from a water source, which is not common, they get water from dewdrops off tree leaves.
Rhesus macaques are polygynandrous when males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season. Breeding seasons vary widely amongst populations. Those monkeys living in areas with cold winters mate in the autumn and those living where there are less pronounced seasonal changes have less well-defined seasons for mating. The gestation period lasts about 165 days, and usually a single young is born. Newborns nurse for about a year. Females become reproductively mature at 2.5 to 3 years old and males at 4.5 to 7 years old.
The Rhesus macaque living in the wild is threatened, but a large population is captive across the world for biological, medicinal, and psychological research, especially for studies about perception, learning, and behavior. They raid crops in India but there the Hindu religion considers them to be sacred animals, so they avoid human persecution.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Rhesus macaque total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
Rhesus monkeys may help with the dispersal of seeds. Being a species that is preyed upon, they may affect populations of predators.