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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Celebes Crested Macaque

Family : Cercopithecidae
Species : Macaca nigra

Head-body length : up to 57 cm
Tail length : 2 cm
Weight, male : up to 10 kg
Weight, female : up to 6 kg

The Celebes Crested Macaque occurs in a wide variety of habitats in its original home on the extreme northeastern tip of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (formerly known as 'Celebes'). Such habitats include inland and coastal forest, mangrove,  secondary forest and agricultural areas. The population density of the species, however, is lower in non-forest habitats.

The species is also called the Crested Black Macaque, or 'Black Ape', though the latter is a misleading name as this is not an 'ape' but a monkey, as it possesses a tail.

The species appears markedly different from other macaques. Its fur is jet black throughout, and on the crown the fur is raised into a pointed crest. Males are considerably larger than females, weighting up to 10 kg, and they bear enlarged canines. The muzzle is very pronounced, and the brow prominent.

The tail is short, measuring just 2 cm, and the rump is devoid of fur. When females are sexually receptive their rumps turn reddish and become swollen to an extreme degree.

The species spends more time on the ground than in the trees, travelling in troupes of widely different size but generally of around 20 individuals or so, though a maximum troupe size of 97 has been reported from Tangkoko.

Their diet comprises mainly fruits, but this is supplemented by a wide variety of other vegetation (leaves, flowers, fungi etc) as well as occasional  vertebrates (birds and their eggs, frogs, lizards etc.).

On Sulawesi, the Tangkoko-Batuangas Nature Reserve, dominated by the forested slopes of Gunung Tangkoko, a dormant volcano, is a core protected area for this unusual macaque.

The species also occurs on the island of Bacan, hundreds of kilometres to the east, where it was introduced in the 19th century, and where a large population exists to this day.

Fig 1 : Adult macaque in the Batuputih area of Tangkoko-Batuangas Nature Reserve.

Fig 2 : The forested slopes of Mount Tangkoko (height = 1351m) protect an important population of the species.

Fig 3 : A pale-faced juvenile is well-protected by its mother.

Fig 4 : Adult, probably female, active on the forest floor.

Figs 1, 3 and 4 photos thanks to Horst Flotow.

Reference : Cawthon Lang KA. 2006 February 2. Primate Factsheets: Crested black macaque (Macaca nigra) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology .


Fig 1

ゥ  Horst Flotow

Fig 2


Fig 3

ゥ  Horst Flotow

Fig 4








ゥ  Horst Flotow