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Slum Monkey Facts

Baby macaque, Gremlin, rides on her mother's back.

Baby macaque, Gremlin, rides on her mother's back. (View larger version)

Photograph by Andrew Chastney 2012

  • Macaques are omnivores. They feed on fruit, leaves, crops and insects. Food is stuffed into the cheek pouches with both hands to be chewed later.

  • Breeding tends to take place in autumn.

  • The species owes its popular name to a type of brimless hat, known as “toque” that was popular in 16th century England.

  • Newborn macaques weigh about about 400g at birth.

  • Macaques live in social groups - although the size of these groups varies widely from as few as 8 individuals up to as many as 43. The average group size is 23.

  • Male macaques are twice the size of females.

  • Toque macaques are endemic to Sri Lanka.

  • Within toque macaque society, there is a strict dominance hierarchy - lower ranking individuals are ousted from good foraging areas and are less likely to survive reproductive age than high ranking females.

  • Leopards, crocodiles, vipers and python snakes are the main predators of this species.

  • The newborn young has a soft black natal coat in the first two months of life.

  • Toque macaques are deemed vulnerable by the 2000 IUCN Red List. Habitat loss, as a result of wood extraction, is the main cause for this.

  • The gestation period for a female toque macaque is 152 days.

  • Toque macaques have an average lifespan of 30 years.

  • Macaques are diurnal - spending time both on the ground and in trees.

  • One macaque offspring is produced each pregnancy. The females have one pregnancy per year.