, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 569-594

Weed macaques: The evolutionary implications of macaque feeding ecology

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Abstract

Patterns of feeding ecology among the living macaques conform poorly with recognized phyletic distinctions within the genus because there is an important ecological division which cross-cuts phyletic groupings. This division, between weed species and non-weed species, is based on the differing abilities of macaques to tolerate and even prosper in close association with human settlements. Based on available information about their ecology in the wild, we tentatively assign macaque species to these two categories. Finally, we consider the implications of our argument for scenarios of the initial spread of the macaques.