Barbary Macaque

Barbary Macaque

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The Barbary Macaque or Common macaque, is a macaque
Macaque
The macaques constitute a genus of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. - Description :Aside from humans , the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa...

 with no tail. Found in the Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains is a mountain range across a northern stretch of Africa extending about through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The highest peak is Toubkal, with an elevation of in southwestern Morocco. The Atlas ranges separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert...

 of Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 and Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 with a small population, of unknown origin, in Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, the Barbary Macaque is one of the best-known Old World monkey
Old World monkey
The Old World monkeys or Cercopithecidae are a group of primates, falling in the superfamily Cercopithecoidea in the clade Catarrhini. The Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today, inhabiting a range of environments from tropical rain forest to savanna, shrubland and mountainous...

 species. Besides human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s, they are the only primate
Primate
A primate is a mammal of the order Primates , which contains prosimians and simians. Primates arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests; many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging three-dimensional environment...

s that live freely in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Although the species is commonly referred to as the "Barbary Ape", the Barbary Macaque is a true monkey
Monkey
A monkey is a primate, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys...

, not an ape
Ape
Apes are Old World anthropoid mammals, more specifically a clade of tailless catarrhine primates, belonging to the biological superfamily Hominoidea. The apes are native to Africa and South-east Asia, although in relatively recent times humans have spread all over the world...

.

Appearance



The monkey is yellowish-brown to grey with lighter undersides, growing to a maximum size of 75 cm (30 in) and 16 kg (29 lb). Its face is a dark pink and its tail is vestigial. The front limbs of this monkey
Monkey
A monkey is a primate, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys...

 are longer than its hind limbs. Females are somewhat smaller than males.

Ecology


Dwelling in forests of cedar
Atlas Cedar
Cedrus atlantica, the Atlas Cedar, is a cedar native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco . A majority of the modern sources treat it as a distinct species Cedrus atlantica, but some sources consider it a subspecies of Lebanon Cedar Cedrus atlantica, the Atlas Cedar, is a cedar native to...

, pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 and oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, the Barbary Macaque may frequent elevations of 2,100 m (6,900 ft) or more. It is a diurnal animal
Diurnal animal
Diurnality is a plant or animal behavior characterized by activity during the day and sleeping at night.-In animals:Animals that are not diurnal might be nocturnal or crepuscular . Many animal species are diurnal, including many mammals, insects, reptiles and birds...

, dividing its time more or less equally between arboreal and terrestrial territory. Mostly herbivorous, this monkey feeds on leaves, root
Root
In vascular plants, the root is the organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial or aerating . Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either...

s, and fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

, but will also eat insects. By day, the Barbary Macaque patrols a territory which may span several square kilometres; it peacefully co-exists with other primate species, sharing watering holes without incident. The Barbary Macaque moves about energetically on all fours, occasionally rising erect on its hind limbs to survey for threats.



The Barbary Macaque is a gregarious monkey, forming mixed groups of several females and males; the troop of 10 to 100 individuals is matriarchal, with its hierarchy determined by lineage to the lead female. Unlike other macaques, the males participate in rearing the young; much time is spent playing and grooming with them. In this way, a strong social bond is formed between a male and his offspring, both the male's own and those of others in the troop. This may be a result of selectiveness on the part of the females, who seem to prefer highly parental males.

The mating season runs from November through March. After a gestation
Gestation
Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. Mammals during pregnancy can have one or more gestations at the same time ....

 period of 147 to 192 days, typically one baby per female is born; twins are a rarity. The monkeys reach maturity at 3 to 4 years of age, and may live for 20 years or more.

Status


Wild populations of Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) have suffered a major decline in recent years to the point of being declared in 2009 as an "endangered species" by the IUCN. In the Middle Atlas mountains are located three quarters of the world population.
Its habitat is restricted to rocky areas with sparse vegetation which are unsuitable for agriculture. The populations are isolated and increasingly inbreeding, with the risks that this situation creates. The species is listed globally as Vulnerable, and is declining.

The species is besides poached for live specimens as pets in illegal pet trade, and clandestine collectors.
Spain is the main entry point in Europe. Today, there are no accurate data on the location and number of individuals that are out of their habitat. An unknown number of individuals are included in zoological collections, at other institutions, or in private hands, in storage or waiting to be relocated to appropriate destinations.

The habitat of the Barbary Macaque is under threat from increased logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 activity; they are listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

. Local farmers view the monkeys as pests, and engage in extermination of the species. Once common throughout northern Africa and southern Europe, there are estimated to be just 12,000 to 21,000 Barbary Macaques left in Morocco and Algeria. Once their distribution was much more extensive, reaching Tunisia and Libya. There is not now a continuous range, but rather isolated areas. During the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 this species inhabited the Mediterranean coasts and Europe, reaching Italy, Hungary, Spain and France, as far north as Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and the British Isles. The species decreased with the arrival of the Ice Age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

, becoming extinct in the Iberian
Iberian
Iberian refers to Iberia, which has two basic meanings, the disused, of Caucasian Iberia , and the modern sense of someone or something originating in the Iberian Peninsula, namely from Portugal and Spain...

 peninsula 30,000 years ago.

The skull of a Barbary Macaque was discovered during excavation in the 1970s at the pre-Christian Navan Fort in County Armagh
County Armagh
-History:Ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid before the fourth century AD. It was ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain Macha near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha...

, Ireland. Carbon dating tests suggest it died there in the 3rd century BC.

Human use


Many of the mistaken ideas about human anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 contained in the writings of Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

 are apparently due to his use of these animals, the only anthropoid
Simian
The simians are the "higher primates" familiar to most people: the Old World monkeys and apes, including humans, , and the New World monkeys or platyrrhines. Simians tend to be larger than the "lower primates" or prosimians.- Classification and evolution :The simians are split into three groups...

 available to him, in dissection
Dissection
Dissection is usually the process of disassembling and observing something to determine its internal structure and as an aid to discerning the functions and relationships of its components....

s. Strong cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

s of his time prevented his performing any actual dissections of human cadaver
Cadaver
A cadaver is a dead human body.Cadaver may also refer to:* Cadaver tomb, tomb featuring an effigy in the form of a decomposing body* Cadaver , a video game* cadaver A command-line WebDAV client for Unix....

s, even in his role as physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 and teacher of physicians.

Gibraltar population



The last wild population in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 is that of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, which unlike that of North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 is thriving. At present, according to the census carried out by Andrew Stimpson, there are some 300 animals in five troops occupying the area of the Upper Rock
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

, though occasional forays into the town may result in damages to personal property.

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