Morphological Characteristics, Growth, and Aging in Japanese Macaques

  • Yuzuru Hamada
  • Ayumi Yamamoto
Part of the Primatology Monographs book series (PrimMono, volume 0)


The Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) is one species of the genus Macaca, which is now distributed in lower-latitude areas in Asia, excepting the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus, which is distributed to Northwestern Africa). The genus Macaca is phylogenetically close to mangabeys and baboons (tribe Papionini; Fleagle 1999), has a medium-sized stout body, and lives either arboreally or terrestrially. According to Delson (1980), the geographical evolutionary history of Macaca is as follows: the genus arose 7–8 million years ago (MYA) in northern Africa, and the ancestor migrated to Eurasia via the Middle East around 5–6 MYA. Although the immigrants to southern Europe remained there for a long time, all of them are considered to be close to the extant Barbary macaque, that is, a conspecific or closely related species; they became extinct several 10,000 years ago. Other populations dispersed to Asia and flourished adaptationally but, because of the paucity of fossils, their exact evolutionary history has not yet been elucidated. On the basis of the supposed macaque fossil Macaca palaeoindicus (2.5–3.0 MYA) from India, the genus Macaca migrated from the Middle East to India along the seashore (southern course). However, a northern course cannot be denied because the majority of macaque fossils excavated have been from China or northern Vietnam. In particular, fossils from Yushe, Shanxi Province (ca. 5.5 MYA) suggest that a macaque ancestor migrated from Europe via Central Asia to China and then dispersed to Southeast and South Asia (Takai 2005).


Rhesus Macaque Mating Season Japanese Macaque Cage Group Trunk Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are indebted to the editors, Drs. N. Nakagawa and M. Nakamichi, for their suggestions and revision. This study is financially supported by funds from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Nos. 16405014, 20255006).


  1. Aimi M (2002) The oldest fossil macaque from Japan. Primate Res 18:239–245 (in Japanese with English summary)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arking R (1998) Biology of aging, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Bogin B (1999) Patterns of human growth, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Charnov EL (1993) Life history invariants: some explanations of symmetry in evolutionary ecology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Delson E (1980) Fossil macaques, phyletic relationships and scenario of deployment. In: Lindburg DG (ed) The macaques: studies in ecology, behavior and evolution. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 10–29Google Scholar
  6. Fleagle JG (1999) Primate adaptation and evolution. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  7. Fooden J (1976) Provisional classification and key to living species of macaques (Primates: Macaca). Folia Primatol 25:225–236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Fooden J (2000) Systematic review of the rhesus macaque, Macaca mulatta (Zimmerman, 1780). Fieldiana Zoology, 96:1–180Google Scholar
  9. Fooden J, Aimi M (2003) Birth-season variation in Japanese macaques, Macaca fuscata. Primates 44:109–117PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Groves C (2001) Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  11. Hamada Y (1994) Standard growth patterns and variations in growth patterns of the Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) based on an analysis by the spline function method. Anthropol Sci 102(suppl):57–76Google Scholar
  12. Hamada Y (1999) Longer juvenile stage is the characteristic of human-primate evolution in growth pattern. Science [Kagaku] 69:350–358 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  13. Hamada Y (2002) Morphological variation and environmental factors in Japanese macaques. In: Oi T, Masui K (eds) Natural history of Japanese macaques. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp 274–295 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  14. Hamada Y (2004) Lifespan of primates. Science [Kagaku] 74:1430–1435 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  15. Hamada Y (2007) Why the brain has enlarged only in humans? Kodansha, Tokyo (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  16. Hamada Y (2008) Body growth and aging in Japanese macaques. In: Takatsuki S, Yamagiwa J (eds) Japanese Mammalogy 2: Medium and Large mammals. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, pp 53–75Google Scholar
  17. Hamada Y, Iwamoto M, Watanabe T (1986) Somatometrical features of Japanese monkeys in the Koshima Islet: in viewpoint of somatometry, growth, and sexual maturation. Primates 27:471–484Google Scholar
  18. Hamada Y, Watanabe T, Iwamoto M (1992) Variation of body color within macaques, especially in the Japanese macaques. Primate Res 8:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hamada Y, Iwamoto M, Watanabe T (1996a) Somatometrical features of Japanese monkeys in the Koshima islet: in viewpoint of somatometry, growth, and sexual maturation. Primates 27:471–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hamada Y, Watanabe T, Iwamoto M (1996b) Morphological variation among local populations of the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata). In: Shotake T, Wada K (eds) Variations in the Asian macaques. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp 97–115Google Scholar
  21. Hamada Y, Hayakawa S, Suzuki J, Ohokura S (1999) Adolescent growth and development in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata): punctuated adolescent growth spurt by season. Primates 40:439–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hamada Y, Hayakawa S, Suzuki J, Watanabe K, Ohokura S (2003) Seasonal variation in the body fat of Japanese macaques Macaca fuscata. Mammal Study 28:79–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hamada Y, Suzuki J, Ohkura S, Hayakawa S (2005a) Changes in testicular and nipple volume related to age and seasonality in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), especially in the pre- and post-pubertal periods. Primates 46:33–45CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamada Y, Watanabe T, Chatani K, Hayakawa S, Iwamoto M (2005b) Morphometrical comparison between Indian- and Chinese-derived rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Anthropol Sci 113:183–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harvey PH, Martin RD, Clutton-Brock TH (1987) Life histories in comparative perspective. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. Chicago University Press, Chicago, pp 181–196Google Scholar
  26. Hayaishi S, Kawamoto Y (2006) Low genetic diversity and biased distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata yakui) on Yakushima island. Primates 47:158–164CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Hazama N (1964) Weighing wild Japanese monkeys in Arashiyama. Primates 5:81–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ikeda J, Watanabe T (1966) Morphological studies of Macaca fuscata. III. Craniometry. Primates 7:271–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Inagaki H (1985) A preliminary study on hair length in the Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata fuscata). Primates 26:334–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Inagaki H, Hamada Y (1985) Differences in hair density of Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata fuscata). Primates 26:85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Iwamoto M, Hasegawa Y (1972) Two macaque fossil teeth from the Japanese Pleistocene. Primates 13:77–81Google Scholar
  32. Iwamoto M, Hamada Y, Watanabe T (1984) Eruption age of deciduous teeth in Japanese macaques. Anthropol Sci 92:273–279 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  33. Iwamoto M, Watanabe T, Hamada Y (1987) Eruption age of permanent teeth in Japanese macaques. Primate Res 3:18–28 (in Japanese with English summary)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kaplan H, Hill K, Lancaster J, Hurtado M (2000) A theory of human life history evolution: diet, intelligence, and longevity. Evol Anthropol 9:156–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kawamoto Y (2007) Genetic geographical variation in Japanese macaques. In: Primate Research Institute (ed) Science of primate evolution. Kyoto University Press, Kyoto, pp 440–450 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  36. Kurita H (2007) Photogrametric study on age change of body length in Japanese macaques. Jap J Soc Auxol 13:59–62 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  37. Medina JJ (1996) The clock of ages. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mori A (1979) Analysis of population changes by measurement of body weight in the Koshima troop of Japanese monkeys. Primates 20:371–397Google Scholar
  39. Mouri T (2000) Craniometric geographical variation in female Japanese macaques. Primate Res 16:254 (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nakagawa N, Ohsawa H, Muroyama Y (2003) Life-history parameters of a wild group of West African patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas patas). Primates 44:281–290CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Nigi H, Tiba T, Yamamoto S, Floescheim ON (1980) Sexual maturation and seasonal changes in reproductive phenomena of male Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) at Takasakiyama. Primates 21:230–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pavelka MSM, Fedigan LM (1999) Reproductive termination in female Japanese monkeys: a comparative life history perspective. Am J Phys Anthropol 109:455–464CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Richard AF, Goldstein SJ, Dewar RE (1989) Weed macaques: the evolutionary implication of macaque feeding ecology. Int J Primatol 10:569–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shimizu K (2007) Special characters of primates in reproductive endocrinology. In: Primate Research Institute (ed) Science of primate evolution. Kyoto University Press, Kyoto, pp 346–360 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  45. Smith DG, McDonough JM, George DA (2007) Mitochondrial DNA variation within and among regional populations of longtail macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in relation to other species of the fascicularis group of macaques. Am J Primatol 69:182–198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Sprague DS, Suzuki S, Takahashi H, Sato S (1998) Male life history in natural populations of Japanese macaques: migration, dominance rank, and troop participation of males in two habitats. Primates 39:351–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stearns SC (1992) The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  48. Sugiyama Y, Ohsawa H (1982) Population dynamics of Japanese monkeys with special reference to the effect of artificial feeding. Folia Primatol 39:238–263CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Takahashi T, Higashino A, Takagi K, Kamanaka Y, Abe M, Morimoto M, Kwan KH, Goto S, Suzuki J, Hamada Y, Kageyama T (2005) Characterization of obesity in Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) in a pedigreed colony. J Med Primatol 35:30–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Takahata Y, Koyama N, Suzuki S (1995) Do the old aged females experience a long post-reproductive life span?: the cases of Japanese macaques and chimpanzees. Primates 36:169–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Takai M (2005) Macaques and baboons: investigation on the evolutionary processes of cercopithecines in Eurasia. Primate Res 21:121–138 (in Japanese with English summary)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tanaka I (1992) Three phases of lactation in free-ranging Japanese macaques. Anim Behav 44:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Taroda-Takizawa H (2002) Living in the valley of heavy snowfall. In: Oi T, Masui K (eds) Natural history of Japanese macaques. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp 93–116Google Scholar
  54. Weindruch R (1996) Caloric restriction and aging. Sci Am 1:46–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yamamoto A (2007) Geographic variations of dental and skeletal morphology in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Doctoral thesis, Kyoto UniversityGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Evolutionary Morphology SectionDepartment of Evolution and Phylogeny, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

Personalised recommendations