There's Snow Monkeys, Like Snow Monkeys

Japanese Macaque or Snow Monkey Both the lives of these Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, and the forests that are their home, are ruled by the timing and the changing of the seasons of the temperate world.

Macaques are perhaps the most adaptable of all monkeys. They colonized many parts of Asia from the tropics to the temperate forests adapting and changing as they went, they first arrived in Japan perhaps half a million years ago. Japanese macaques live in troops and move within a defined territory. Japanese macaques are different from other macaques. They're less inclined to squabble than their cousins who live in tropical forests.

These northern macaques no longer have any natural predators, their biggest threat is winter itself. But the freezing winter temperatures are a hardship their thick fur and larger bodymass have prepared them for.

Japanes Macaque of Snow Monkey In the deep snows the macaques move only when they must. Each journey drains heat and costs energy. Over the winter months, a macaque can lose as much as twenty per cent of its bodyweight. They stay in the trees as much as they can. It's easier to travel and they lose less heat through their hands and feet. They rely for nourishment mainly on the bark of trees.

Where they can, the macaques supplement their diet by eating winter buds. But these macaques seldom stay in one place long enough to do permanent damage to the forest.

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