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Description and Biology:
APPEARANCE: Rhesus macaques are brown and adults have a red face and rump. The underparts are a lighter brown. The tail is medium length and the hair on the top of the head is short. The locomotion is quadrupedal.
SIZE: Rhesus monkeys weigh 5.6-10.9kg (males), 4-10.9kg (females), and the body length is 470-531mm for females and 483-635mm for males.
REPRODUCTION: The mating season is variable, usually March-Jun. The female’s bright red bottom indicates estrus. Subadults males have a pink scrotum: adult males have a red scrotum. The monkeys reach sexual maturity at 48-72months and the gestation period is 164 days.
SOCIAL SYSTEM: The Rhesus monkey has a multimale-multifemale social structure. They usually have a 2-tiered class system. A female associates with and supports the family and class in a strict female-bonded matrilineal hierarchy. Males are dominant to females but are peripheral to the group and change groups every few years. The group size varies from 10-50.
The Rhesus monkeys are diurnal, mostly terrestrial, and partly arboreal. Rhesus monkeys often reconcile after an aggressive interaction by lip-smacking and embracing. These monkeys spend about 10-13% of their daily activity on grooming. Thy feed at heights to 10 meters above the ground. In Pakistan, some 45% of the day is spent feeding. Rhesus monkeys are quiet tolerant of human disturbances and are found quiet close to cities.
DIET: The main diet is fruits, seeds, leaves, gums, buds, grass, clover, roots, bark, resin, and small invertebrates. Rhesus monkeys raid crops. In the dry season, they drink 3-4 times per day ( all above information from “The Pictorial Guide to The Living Primates,” Pogonias Press, Newyork).