Year of 2017

Japanese macaques in hot spring, Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, Japan

When the weather outside is frightful, the snow monkeys here at the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan descend from the forest and soak in the naturally occurring hot springs, known as onsen. Snow monkeys, more formally known as Japanese macaques, hold the distinction of being the northernmost living nonhuman primates. They are a sophisticated lot, known for washing their food before eating it, occasionally engaging in snowball fights, and indulging in these warm baths. The macaques also make adorable poster primates for Monkey Day, an international holiday on December 14 that celebrates monkeys and ‘all things simian.’

The Japanese macaque, also known as the snow monkey, is a terrestrial Old World monkey species that is native to Japan. They get their name “snow monkey” because they live in areas where snow covers the ground for months each year – no other nonhuman primate is more northern-living, nor lives in a colder climate. Individuals have brown-grey fur, red faces, and short tails. Two subspecies are known.
Lifespan: 6.30 years on average (Female)
Scientific name: Macaca fuscata
Weight: 24.25 pound (11 kg) on average (Male) · 18.52 pound (8.40 kg) on average (Female)
Height: 22.44 inch (57 cm) on average (Male) · 20.47 inch (52 cm) on average (Female)
Tail length: 36.61 inch (93 cm) on average (Male) · 31.10 inch (79 cm) on average (Female)
Biological classification: Species
Japanese Macaque area
Japanese Macaque area; Updated version