Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus)

Lion-tailed Macaque

This species has cheek pouches to carry food in while it forages. The average body mass for an adult male lion-tailed macaque is around 7 kilograms, and for the females it is around 5 kilograms. The pelage has a black color, with the long hairs surrounding the face being gray in color. At the end of the tail there is a small tuft of hair.

The lion-tailed macaque is found in the country of India. This species lives in evergreen and semievergreen broadleaf monsoon forest and sometimes in forests near rivers. It prefers to live in mature forests.
Lion-tailed Macaque

The lion-tailed macaque is a frugivorous species, but it will also consume leaves, berries, insects, and seeds. Group sizes range from 12 to 30 individuals. This is a diurnal species.

The lion-tailed macaque is a quadrupedal species (Fleagle, 1988).

The lion-tailed macaque has a multimale-multifemale social system. Females remain in their natal group with the onset of maturity, but males will disperse shortly before adolescence. There is a hierarchical system amongst group members based upon the matriline.

scream calls: This call is given by the lion-tailed macaque when they are approached by a non-group conspecific.

loud call: This is emitted by the male, and is used to maintain intergroup spacing. A group will move away upon hearing this call.


fear grimace: The lips are retracted so that the teeth are shown; the teeth are clenched together (Estes, 1991). This display functions as an appeasement signal to reduce aggression in aggressive encounters (Estes, 1991).

staring with open mouth: This is the stare accompanied by the mouth being open but the teeth are covered (Estes, 1991). This is a threat expression (Estes, 1991).


The lion-tailed macaque gives birth to a single offspring.

Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Estes, R.D. 1991. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press.

Fleagle, J. G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Last Updated: October 9, 2003.
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