The Japanese macaques

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Japanese Macaques

Japanese macaques are medium-sized primates with brown to grey hair. This monkey genus is sexually dimorphic, which means that males are heavier than females, weighing twenty-two pounds for males and eighteen pounds for females. The Japanese macaque's distinctive red faces get sharper throughout the breeding season. The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the Japanese macaque habitats. Aside from the Japanese macaques, Lincoln Park is home to a diverse variety of animals from reptiles, gorillas, penguins, polar bears, large cats, and about two hundred other species totaling approximately one thousand and six hundred birds. The park is estimated to be about fourteen hectors of land which are around thirty-five acres and is located in the Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois.

The Japanese Macaques

The Japanese Macaques


The menu of the wild Japanese macaques' changes with the seasons. During summer, this species of monkeys feast on plentiful foods which include mushrooms, leaves, seeds, flowers, and fruits. During the cold weather, the Japanese Macaques nibble buds and roots. The wild Japanese Macaques even take advantage of the avalanches to obtain the unfrozen food beneath.

Life History

The Japanese Macaques live in troops which range from about ten monkeys to more than one hundred in numbers. The female Japanese Macaques stay in their groups of birth, and the daughters inherit the line of their mom. It is due to these long-lasting female ranks that it becomes probable for the complex cultures to pass down from one generation to another ranging from taking dips in hot springs to stacking stones.

Special Adaptations

The Japanese Macaques have some special adaptations. One of the notable unique adaptation is the thick coats which insulate them from the cold winters. They also have compact, bulky bodies enabling them to conserve warmth by reducing the amount of the body heat being bare to the cold environment. The second prominent adaptation of the Japanese Macaques is the short and stumpy tails which max out, in length, to at about three and a half inches. These adaptation of reduced rear ends are very significant for the reasons that they enable them to less likely feel the nip of the frostbite. The third special adaptation of this species of the monkeys is a dip in hot spring. This provided them with a nice way of keeping warm in the chilly winter seasons. This adaptation has been passed on from one generation to another for centuries. The fourth adaptation common with most of the Japanese Macaques troops is the washing of the foods such as rice, cassava, and sweet potatoes in the sea before they consume. This rinsing is of great importance in that it removes grit from food besides adding a little salty flavor. The last adaptation of the Japanese Macaques that is special is 'rocking out' for fun when their basic needs are met. One of the solitary technique of rocking out is stone playing whereby the sight of one monkey doing it has been observed to encourage others.

Research Methodology

Animals are known to perform a continuous stream of behaviors in the course of their lives, and so is the Japanese Macaques species. For the reasons that the behavior of the Japanese Macaques is not random, two of the Behavioral Sampling Methods are appropriate and therefore will be used to obtain data that will reflect the actual behavior accurately and for the validity of answering the research question. These are Focal animal sampling and Scan sampling. These two behavioral sampling methods will be able to record the behavior of the Japanese Macaques. By use of a list of Japanese Macaques' specific behaviors, I will record everything that this species will do in real time from playing and squabbling to eating and sleeping. The resulting data will be instrumental to the animal care staff and researchers with regard to understanding the complex social dynamics held by the Japanese Macaques troops besides detecting important changes in the behaviors of this species for the purposes of providing high-quality care.

Focal-Animal Sampling

Focal animal sampling is a behavioral sampling technique whereby all the activities of a single animal are note down within a specific period of time. During the specified time period all the doings that the selected animal does are chronicled while the actions of the rest of the group are not noted down. The observer will only move to another animal when the time period for the animal he or she is observing at that moment is up. This process carries on up to the time that all the members in the chosen collection are observed for the given time frame. In my research, I will be carrying out focal animal sampling on the most interesting monkeys each at a time for every five minutes in every hour. The observation will take place for two and a half hours in a day for a maximum of four days that is two cold days of observation in February and two warmer days in April. The total number of hours will be ten.

Scan Sampling

The second behavioral sampling method that will be used is the Scan sampling. This type of scanning is very similar or rather comparable to the instantaneous sampling. For the period of the scan sampling, the behavior of all the members of a group of the animals are recorded, and this is done at predetermined intervals of time. An example of the scan sampling is whereby the behavior of every animal in a group at two minutes intervals for a sixteen hour period of time. In this research, I will be carrying out Scan sampling for the whole troop of Japanese Macaques for five minutes in every half hour on the fifteen-minute mark. These observations will break down into two cold days of observation in February and two warmer days in April for a combined total of ten hours. Both states and events will be recorded.


Bart, Jonathan, William I Notz, and Michael A Fligner. Sampling and Statistical Methods for Behavioral Ecologists. Cambridge: Univ. Press, 2013.

Cozby, Paul C, and Scott Bates. Methods in Behavioral Research. New York: McGraw Hill, 2015.

Lincoln Park Zoo. “Lincoln Park Zoo Review.” Lincoln Park Zoo Review. 2016.

Miller-Schroeder, Patricia. Japanese Macaques. New York: West Pub. Co., 2014.

Naofumi Nakagawa, Masayuki Nakamichi, and Hideki Sugiura. The Japanese Macaques. Tokyo ; New York: Springer, 2014.

July 24, 2021



Language Zoology

Subject area:

Zoo Japanese Animals

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Expertise Animals
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