Friday Know Your Primate: Lion Tailed Macaque

Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Cercopithecinae
Genus: Macaca
Species: Macaca silenus

According to Fleagle’s Primate Adaptation and Evolution the genus Macaca has the widest distribution of any nonhuman primate genus. They are, again according to Fleagle, the macaques’ ability to coexist with humans is greater than all other primates. The lion tailed macaque is an exception to the rule. They live in the Western Ghats region of India and is believed to have evolved from Macaca paleoindica – one of the first macaques to have reached India and Asia about 5 MYA.
The lion tailed macaque is one of the larger macaques – with males getting up to 24 inches tall and weighing up to 22 pounds. They live in groups averaging 20-30 individuals containg one to three males, the rest being females and juveniles. They have the lowest birthrate of any macaque (consequently, they are highly endangered). They are highly territorial and are the only macaque in which the male has a special call to mark territorial boundries. They live in tropical or evergreen forests and subsist on fruit and insects (and the occasional lizard, frog or small mammal – animal matter forms about 37 % of their diet).
As of 2004, lion tailed macaques numbered less than 2,500 mature individuals with a further 500 existing in zoos (as part of a species survival plan).

5 Responses

  1. With a mane like that they’re called Lion-Tailed?

  2. The baby looks just like some kids I’ve seen.

  3. I didn’t know this genus had the widest geographic distribution. I’m doing some comparative genomics analysis with the Rhesus Macaque genome sequence.

  4. Alternative Friday Know Your Primate: Jeffrey Meldrum

    POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Jeffrey Meldrum holds a Ph.D. in anatomical sciences and is a tenured professor of anatomy at Idaho State University.
    He is also one of the world’s foremost authorities on Bigfoot, the mythical ape-man of the Northwest woods. And Meldrum firmly believes the lumbering, shaggy brute exists.
    That makes him an outcast — a solitary, Sasquatch-like figure himself — on the 12,700-student campus, where many scientists are embarrassed by what they call Meldrum’s “pseudo-academic” pursuits and have called on the university to review his work with an eye toward revoking his tenure. One physics professor, D.P. Wells, wonders whether Meldrum plans to research Santa Claus, too.

    “Do I cringe when I see the Discovery Channel and I see Idaho State University, Jeff Meldrum? Yes, I do,” Hackworth said. “He believes he’s taken up the cause of people who have been shut out by the scientific community. He’s lionized there. He’s worshipped. He walks on water. It’s embarrassing.”

    On campus, Meldrum — himself a hulking figure, with a mop of brown hair, a bristly silver mustache, and a black T-shirt with a silhouette of a hunchbacked, lurking Bigfoot — gets funny looks and the silent treatment from other scientists, and is not invited to share coffee with the other science professors.

    Meldrum wonders aloud how much longer he will be on the faculty. But he said he also dreams of one day bringing back a bone or a tooth or some skin, and silencing the “stuffy academics.”

  5. Bigfoot, hehehehe!

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