Wild About Winter
These monkeys spend their winter days taking dips in hot springs and tossing snowballs
Snow monkeys have fun ways to beat the chill in the winter months. Also called Japanese macaques (ma-CACKS), snow monkeys can be found across the country of Japan.
Some snow monkeys live in mountains where it snows four months out of the year. Their thick fur protects them from the cold. To keep warm, they huddle together and take long baths in hot springs. These steamy pools of water occur naturally in the mountains of Japan.
Snow monkeys have a lot in common with people. They have their own culture, says Barbara King, who studies monkey behavior. Snow monkeys live in groups called troops. Each troop has knowledge and habits that adults pass on to the children. For example, the monkeys wash their food before they eat it. Troop members also spend lots of time grooming each other, playing, and relaxing. And of course, snow monkeys make snowballs!
The monkeys also spend much of their time looking for food. That’s partly because humans have moved into parts of the monkeys’ habitat. This makes it more difficult for the animals to find enough fruits, vegetables, and insects to eat.
Read the circle graph to see how snow monkeys spend their day.