More Info: The Japanese macaque habitat is home to six females and three males. This family group is headed by matriarchs who are three sisters called Carmen, Laura and Griffin. The other females consist of two lower ranking members and the youngest Hana who was born in 2019. The three males are Denny, Mirai and Haru. The lower ranking family members will spend time grooming their elders which helps maintain the hierarchy. They all enjoy relaxing in the steam from their hot tub and in the wild Japanese macaques are seen sitting in naturally occurring hot springs to avoid extreme winter conditions.
The Japanese macaque is a monkey of medium size. They are also called snow monkeys because of their ability to live and thrive in snowy regions. Japanese macaques are the only primates to live at such northern latitudes besides humans. They are found on three of the four main Japanese islands: Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. They inhabit evergreen and broad-leaved deciduous forest, from subtropical lowlands to sub-alpine regions of up to 1,500 meters.
Japanese macaques have long, thick fur, of a brown or grey colour which contrasts with the deep pink of their naked faces. Their tales are very short and males are larger than females. As with other monkey species, the macaque has opposable thumbs, enabling it to grasp and pick up objects.
Japanese macaques live in troops of around 20 to 30 individuals, led by an alpha male. Females stay in the group they were born in to for life, but males will leave before reaching sexual maturity. Females spend more of their time in trees, while males spend most of their time on the ground.
Japanese macaques are excellent swimmers and are known to be one of the cleverest species of monkey.