The behavioral ecology of the tibetan macaque
Kappeler, Peter M.
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Mystery surrounded Tibetan macaques for a long time, even for experts. The species was not identified until the last third of the nineteenth century, and nothing more than its geographic distribution and external characters were known for the next hundred years. It was long referred to as Père David’s macaque, a rather odd name in reference to the French missionary and naturalist Father Armand David, who first collected the species. Moreover, the current name, Tibetan macaque, is misleading since the species is typically found in east-central China and not within the boundaries of Tibet. This is due to the fact that Père David initially located the species at a place close to the Sino-Tibetan border of his time. We had to wait until the 1980s to see Mount Emei and Mount Huangshan come to light on the primatology map. This is where Qikun Zhao and Ziyun Deng from the Kunming Institute of Zoology and Qishan Wang and Jinhua Li from Anhui University began to study the behavior and life history of Tibetan macaques, definitively adding a new dimension to the macaque landscape. I still have the reprints of their publications in my bibliography, some written in Chinese. The works of Hideshi Ogawa, Carol Berman, and a new generation of primatologists soon followed. Now appears this multi-authored volume entirely devoted to the Tibetan macaque. This combined effort of two dozen scientists to review 40 years of research and present new findings about a single species should be viewed as a celebration of the species. It frees Tibetan macaques from the purgatory of scientific papers scattered across various journals and collections to join the small club of primate species that are honored with this attention. Many people would consider that brown monkeys like Tibetan macaques all look similar. Although they do not have the immediate visual appeal of more brightly colored primates, brown monkeys have different but equally attractive assets. With their fiery gaze and prominent beards, Tibetan macaques are no exception, and their adaptations and behaviors attract a great deal of research interest.
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