Macaques in GURPS

Macaca sp.

Macaques are widespread monkeys found in southern Asia, Japan, and north Africa. They are the only primate native to Europe (by a technicality - barbary macaques are found on the island of Gibralter). Macaques are all good climbers, and many are strong swimmers. These monkeys are omnivorous, and will eat fruit, leaves, flowers, shoots, buds, roots, nuts, mushrooms, insects, shellfish, and small vertebrates. They are active during the day.

Macaques live in groups, and have elaborate social systems with strict dominance hierarchies. usually, there are two parallel hierarchies - one for the females and their young, and one for the males. The groups are matrilineal and matrilocal - the females stay with their groups and have their status within the group determined by the status of their mother. Males migrate out of their birth group and join another when they reach sexual maturity. Females are organized by family, with high ranking families getting the best food and best spots. They actively defend their status, and keep down social climbers and upstarts, violently if necessary. Male status is determined by senority or by strength and fighting ability. Males may form coalitions for the mutual benefit of the conspirators, allowing them to gain strength and status by their numbers. Social bonds are maintained by grooming.

Macaques often become a nuisance when they raid human crops, or when they start living in villages or cities and steal food or knock over garbage cans. In many places, these monkeys are considered sacred and harming them is forbidden and illegal. Elsewhere, they may be regularly culled to keep their populations within manageable limits.

The more widespread and well-known macaques are listed below. There are many other species, often with populations restricted to small islands.

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