Southern Pig Tailed Macaque, Macaca nemestrina

The Southern Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) is an Old World monkey of medium size.

The species handle, nemestrina, is an adjective that is modified to agree in gender with the feminine generic name. It previously included the Northern Pig-Tailed, Pagai Island, and Siberut macaques as its subspecies.

It can reach a weight of 5 to 15 kilograms in the large males. These monkeys are a buff-brownish color with a darker back and lighter lower parts of the body. Their common name is in reference to the short tail held semi-erect and reminiscent of the tail of a pig.

They are mostly terrestrial but they also are skilled climbers. Unlike nearly all primates, they love water. They reside in large groups split into smaller groups during the day when they are searching for food. They are omnivorous, feeding mostly on fruits, berries, cereals, seeds, fungi, and invertebrates.

There is a hierarchy among the males, based on the strength and among the females, based on heredity. Therefore, the daughter of the dominant female will immediately be placed above all other females within the group. The dominant female leads the group, while the male role is more to manage the conflict within the group and to protect it.

Sexual maturity is achieved at the age of 3 to 5 years old. The female gestation period lasts roughly 6 months. She will give birth to one infant every 2 years and wean them at about 4 to 5 months.

This macaque is mainly found in rainforest up to 2,000 meters, but will also enter plantations and gardens. It can be found in the southern half of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Bangka Island, and Borneo.

Image Caption: Schweinsaffe im Tierpark Berlin. Credit: Stauss/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)