Assam macaques in a tree


Macaques are the most widespread primates except humans. They are Old World monkeys and most have tails. Some macaques, including the Barbary macaque, have no tails just like apes. All macaques have powerful jaws, long canine teeth and cheek pouches that can hold the same volume of food as their stomachs. There are currently 22 species of macaque, many of them easily recognised such as the Rhesus macaque. Europe's only free-living primate, the Barbary macaque, is found on Gibraltar. The Japanese macaque is the most northerly-living non-human primate.

Did you know?
A macaque's cheek pouches can store the same volume of food as its stomach.

Scientific name: Macaca

Rank: Genus


Map showing the distribution of the Macaques taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Macaques can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Macaques