Long Tailed MacaqueThe Nicobar Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosa, popularly known as the Nicobar Monkey) is a subspecies of the Crab-eating Macaque (M. fascicularis), endemic to the Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. This primate is found on three of the Nicobar Islands — Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Katchal Island, in biome regions consisting of Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests.
HabitatTheir preferred habitat includes mangroves, other coastal forests and riverine environments, however they are also found in inland forests at altitudes of up to 600 m above mean sea level The highest point in the Nicobars, Mount Thullier on Great Nicobar, is some 642 m high. In particular, areas of forest with trees of sp. Pandanus are favoured. Bands of these macaques living in coastal zones tend towards a more terrestrial existence and spend less time living in the trees than do the more arboreal populations of the inland forest zones. Each band has a favoured territory, preferentially close to a water source, over which they roam; this territory measures some 1.25 km˛ on average.
BehaviourThey are frugivores, with their principal diet consisting of fruits and nuts; however in common with other Crab-eating Macaques they turn to other sources of food when the preferred fruits are out of season; typically in the dry and early rainy tropical seasons. This alternate diet includes young leaves, insects, flowers, seeds, and bark; they are also known to eat small crabs, frogs and other creatures taken from the shorelines and mangroves when foraging in these environments. Macaque populations which live in areas close to human settlements and farms frequently raid the croplands for food, and have even entered dwellings in search of sustenance if not actively discouraged by human presence.
Like all primates, they are social animals, and spend a good deal of time interacting and grooming together. They typically forage for food in the morning, resting in groups during the midday hours and then a subsequent period of foraging in the early evening before returning to designated roosting trees to sleep for the night. These animals move quadrupedally on the ground as well as in the canopy, and they are capable of leaping distances of up to 5 m from tree to tree. They are also proficient swimmers.
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