International Journal of Primatology

, 10:569

First online:

Weed macaques: The evolutionary implications of macaque feeding ecology

  • A. F. RichardAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, Yale University
  • , S. J. GoldsteinAffiliated withPrinceton University Computer Center
  • , R. E. DewarAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of Connecticut

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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.

Key words

Macaque ecology macaque evolution weed species successional species feeding ecology