Hi, I am a Snow Monkey, or another name for me is the Japanese Macaque and you will find me living high in the mountains on the island of Honshu in Japan. Another place where I call home is at the zoo. We have two things that make us monkeys being different from other Primates is we like to warm ourselves and relax in hot springs, and we still can live in below zero temperatures. We are one of the few Eutherian groups that re-evolved with full color vision. We also have five fingers and fingernails, and most animals have claws. Our diet consists of flowers, seeds, bark, leaves, shrimp, bird eggs, insects and fruit.
We are a medium size monkey, and the reason we are called Snow Monkeys is that we also live in snowy regions. Our fur is long, thick and the colors of brown or gray. Some of you Humans may notice that our fur is dense and there is a contrast with our faces, which have a naked skin and also our rumps, which is red for adults. Our males are larger than our females. We have a short tail and a beard with long whiskers. Just like some Monkeys we have opposable thumbs which enables us to hold things. If we do want to hold things then we have to walk on our hind legs.
We live in a groups of 20 to 30 and the group is led by a dominant male. Our females stay in these groups for life but our males will leave the group when they are older. You may see the females hanging out in trees, and the males hang out on the ground. The females will groom and raise their young, and the dominant male protects the group from predators. He decides where the group or troop should go, and has a role in siring the young. We do have a number of partners during mating season, which last for months, between September and April. Females will choose their mate, and their single baby will cling to their Mama for two years.
We do have lots of predators wanting us for dinner, such as Hawks, Eagles, Wolves, and raccoons. Many of you Humans may think we do not like to swim, but we do, we are excellent swimmers. Yes, we do make different sounds which warn, defend, mating time and when we have to fight. We are very particular in washing our food before we eat like you Humans and Raccoons do. Maybe one day if you are visiting a zoo, see if we are there, and come and say hello.
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