The macaques constitute a genus of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae.
Aside from humans (genus Homo), the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa. Twenty-two macaque species are currently recognised, including some of the monkeys best known to nonzoologists, such as the rhesus macaque, Macaca mulatta, and the barbary macaque, M. sylvanus, a colony of which lives on the Rock of Gibraltar. Although several species lack tails, and their common names therefore refer to them as apes, these are true monkeys, with no greater relationship to the true apes than any other Old World monkeys.
In some species, skin folds join the second through fifth toes, almost reaching the first metatarsal joint.
Macaques have a very intricate social structure and hierarchy. If a macaque of a lower level in the social chain has eaten berries and none are left for a higher-level macaque, then the one higher in status can, within this social organization, remove the berries from the other monkey's mouth.
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