Barbary macaques are the only non-human primates found in Europe. There is a small population on Gibraltar although most live in the oak and cedar forests of Morocco and northern Algeria. They are also known as Barbary apes due to their lack of a tail, but they are actually Old World monkeys. Barbary macaques live in troops of as many as 100 members and the males help care for the young, grooming and playing with them. This distinguishes them from other macaques. The males sometimes focus attention on youngsters that aren't their offspring. This may be because females mate with all male members of the troop so paternity is uncertain.
Scientific name: Macaca sylvanus
The following habitats are found across the Barbary macaque distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus), Barbary ape, or Magot is a species of macaque unique for its distribution outside of Asia and for its vestigial tail. Traditionally found in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco and El-Kouf National Park in Libya along with a small population of unknown origin in Gibraltar, the Barbary macaque is one of the best-known Old World monkey species.
The Barbary macaque is of particular interest because males play an atypical role in rearing young. Despite uncertain paternity, males are integral to raising infants. Generally, Barbary macaques of all ages and sexes contribute in alloparental care of young.
Macaque diets consist primarily of plants and insects and they are found in a variety of habitats. Males live to a maximum of 25 years while females may live up to 30 years. Besides humans, they are the only free-living primates in Europe. Although the species is commonly referred to as the "Barbary ape", the Barbary macaque is actually a true monkey. Its name refers to the Barbary Coast of Northern Africa.
The Barbary macaque population of Gibraltar is the only such population outside of Northern Africa. The Rock of Gibraltar houses approximately 230 macaques.
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