Japan Unit Study: Life Cycle of the Macaque Monkey

The macaque or “Snow Monkey” of Japan is a colorful monkey that lives in the colder regions of Japan, thus earning it’s name. I thought it was the perfect animal to make a life cycle spinner to compliment our study of Japan.

I sketched some simple drawings of various stages in a monkey’s life and created my little life cycle spinner. You can download it HERE.

I included four major stages:

Infant – This stage last a little over a year, most of which is spent being carried by the mother or riding on the mother’s back. During this time, the baby monkey learns by observation important skills such as communication, finding food, making beds and safety awareness.

Adolescent – This stage extends from infant hood where the young monkey is still under the care of it’s mother, but starts to behave more like an adult. During this time they continue to learn from other adult members of their group, and become more and more independent as they reach sexual maturity, usually around 4-5 years old.

Estrus – This stage is also known as mating, and this usually takes place each autumn through October through December. During mating season, males will stand straighter than usual and flex their monkey muscles, intentionally pumping them up to seem more masculine and tough. Through mating season, the monkeys will mate with multiple partners, with males higher in the hierarchy being more popular and desirable for potential female mates. Just as in human communities, some males are avoided and ignored by the females.

Pregnancy – Sometimes referred to as gestation, a female monkey is impregnated, and over a period of approximately six months grows usually one, but sometimes two babies.

My daughter loves monkies and liked to look at the different pictures. She was rather adamant that she was going to have a baby monkey when she grew older, lol. Hopefully not, haha.

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