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Crested Black Macaque is a primate that is often wrongly called as an ape. It is actually a monkey but because of its extremely short tail (which is hard to see), people think of it as an ape. This monkey is threatened with extinction because of rampant hunting. People actually savor its meat. Also, the shrinking of its habitat and its capture because people want to keep it as pet are two other reasons why the population of this primate is declining gradually. In this article, we will take a look at 30 interesting Crested Black Macaque facts and find out the details about its habitat, eating habits, sexual habits and more. You ready?

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Suborder Haplorrhini
Infraorder Simiiformes
Superfamily Cercopithecoidea
Family Cercopithecidae
Subfamily Cercopithecinae
Genus Macaca
Species M. nigra
Binomial Name Macaca nigra
Average life span 18 to 20 years
Region Indonesia
Total population 106,000
Gestation period 174 days or 5.8 months
Height For males: 520-570 mm or 1.71-1.87 feet | For females: 445-570 mm or 1.46-1.87 feet
Weight For males: 9.9 kg or 21.8 lb. | For females: 5.5 kg or 12.1 lb.

Interesting Crested Black Macaque Facts: 1-5

1. The Crested Black Macaque is known by a variety of names which include:

  • Black ape
  • Celebes crested macaque
  • Celebes ape
  • Celebes macaque
  • Sulawesi crested black macaque
  • Sulawesi macaque
  • Cynopithèque nègre (French)
  • Macaque des célèbes (French)
  • Macaca negra (Spanish)
  • Celebesmakak
  • Svart sulawesimakak (Swedish)
  • Svartapa (Swedish)

2. The Crested Black Macaque is actually an “Old World Monkey” and has been tagged as Critically Endangered.

3. Some of the most distinguishing features of the Crested Black Macaque are:

  • Its skin and its hair are both jet black. However, some white hair may be found in shoulder region.
  • It has reddish-brown eyes, which is very unusual in case of primates.
  • On the top of its head is hair tuft or crest, which is the most distinguishing feature of the monkey. It is because of this crest that it is called ‘Crested’.
  • The cheeks are very high and the muzzle is very long.
  • Its brows are overhanging.
  • The ischial callosity (thickened skin found on its butt), is bright pink.
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4. Its tail is vestigial – almost non-visible. It is because of this vestigial tail, which is about 2 cm in length, that the Macaca nigra has often been confused with an ape.

5. In the wild, the Macaca nigra survives for anywhere between 18 and 20 years.

Interesting Crested Black Macaque Facts: 6-10

6. These monkeys show sexual dimorphism. Simply but, males are almost twice as big as females. The males also have canine teeth larger than females.

7. These monkeys are primarily terrestrial but are also arboreal. When on ground, they walk on all their fours. Simply put, they have quadrupedal locomotion.

8. In this entire world, these monkeys are found only and only on two islands – both of which are located in Indonesia.

9. One of the two islands are Sulawesi. Interestingly, on Sulawesi, they are restricted to northeastern-most tip of the peninsula.

10. On Sulawesi, these monkeys can be found only at:

  • Tangkoko Batuangus-Dua Sudara Nature Reserve
  • Gunung Ambang Nature Reserve
  • Gunung Manembonembo Nature Reserve
  • Bunaken Marine National Park

Interesting Crested Black Macaque Facts: 11-15

11. The other island where these monkeys are found is the Pulau Bacan, which is 345 miles away from Sulawesi.

12. The Crested Black Macaques were introduced in Pulau Bacan in 1867 by the humans and the monkeys in these two islands have been separated from each other for exactly 150 years. Despite this separation, they have same behavioral, ecological and morphological patterns.

13. Despite the fact that they are present only on two islands, they actually have a number of habitats, which include:

  • Lowland primary forests
  • Montane primary forests
  • Mature secondary forests
  • Early secondary forests
  • Cultivation areas which are surrounded by both primary forests and secondary forests
  • Mangroves
  • Forests that have been actively logged
  • Agricultural areas and areas which have dense human population
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14. When it comes to daily life, these monkeys travel around, forage, socialize, feed and rest. They spend 41% of their day socializing and resting while 59% of their day is spent feeding, foraging and travelling.

15. They usually rest during midafternoon and late afternoon. Midday and morning are the times when they usually socialize. Foraging, feeding and travelling takes place throughout the day.

Interesting Crested Black Macaque Facts: 16-20

16. These monkeys are diurnal. That means that they will do all the above-mentioned activities during the day and at night, they will sleep.

17. They are frugivorous. This simply means that of their entire diet, they will mostly eat fruits. Fruits actually make up 70% of their diet.

18. Apart from fruits, they also feed on seeds, buds, leaves, birds, fungus, eggs of birds, small frogs or lizards, ants, insects (like caterpillars).

19. When it comes to group behavior, they are usually seen in small groups which may consist of 5 monkeys to 25 monkeys with only one adult male.

20. At times, the groups may be as large as 97 monkeys. In such groups, there are 4 adult males (maximum).

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21. Whether it is a small group or a large group, female adults outnumber the male adults by 4:1 ratio.

22. Adult males which are young are usually forced to leave the group in which they are born. Such young males often form groups of bachelors and then they fan out to find a new group with existing adult males.

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23. These monkeys are promiscuous. These means that they will mate with multiple partners and they will do that multiple times. This behavior is found in both genders.

24. When females become sexually receptive, their buttocks will show extreme swelling or tumescence and their buttocks will also turn red.

25. Talking of butts, the males have heart-shaped and small pink buttocks while the females have rounded large buttocks which are deep pink in color.

Interesting Crested Black Macaque Facts: 26-30

26. These are social primates and they will often be seen grooming each other. When it comes to communicating with each other, they use a wide range of gestures and sounds.

27. The Crested Black Macaque is known by two local names – Wolai and Yaki.

28. Several groups may have overlapping home ranges. Usually a groups home range is between 0.47 km2 to 3.48 km2. On a daily basis, they travel about 1.48 miles or 2,388 meters.

29. However, when they reach primary forests, they don’t travel much because the habitat becomes high quality and fruits are available in abundance.

30. When it comes to natural predators, the Crested Black Macaque has only one – the reticulated python.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4

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