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Southern Pig-tailed Macaque
Pigtail-macaque-65866
Southern Pig-tailed Macaque yawning
Information
Range southern half of the Malay Peninsula (only just extending into southernmost Thailand), Borneo, Sumatra and Bangka Island.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Family Cercopithecidae
Genus Macaca
Species Macaca nemestrina
Conservation Status
VUSpecies
Vulnerable

The Southern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), is a species of macaque of the Cercopithecidae family. It is found found in the southern half of the Malay Peninsula (only just extending into southernmost Thailand), Borneo, Sumatra and Bangka Island.

Etymology and Taxonomy

The species epithet, nemestrina, is an adjective (derived from Latin Nemestrinus, the god of groves) modified to agree in gender with the feminine generic name.

It formerly included the Northern pig-tailed, Pagai Island, and Siberut macaques as subspecies.

Physical Description

The southern pig-tailed macaque can reach a weight of 5–15 kg in large males. These monkeys are buff-brown with a darker back and lighter lower parts of the body. Their common name refers to the short tail held semi-erect and reminiscent of the tail of a pig.

Behavior and Ecology

They are mainly terrestrial but they also are skilled climbers. Unlike almost all primates they love water. They live in large groups split into smaller groups during the day when they are looking for food. They are omnivorous, feeding mainly on fruits, seeds, berries, cereals, fungi and invertebrates.

There is a hierarchy among males, based on the strength and among females, based on heredity. Thus, the daughter of the dominant female will immediately be placed above all other females in the group. The dominant female leads the group, while the male role is more to manage conflict within the group and to defend it.

Sexual maturity is reached at the age of 3–5 years. Female gestation lasts about 6 months. She will give birth to one infant every two years. Weaning occurs at 4–5 months.

Habitat

This macaque is mostly found in rainforest up to 2000 meters, but will also enter plantations and gardens.

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