Habitual hot-spring bathing by a group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in their natural habitat
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007
© 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Volume 69, Issue 12, pages 1425–1430, December 2007
How to Cite
Zhang, P., Watanabe, K. and Eishi, T. (2007), Habitual hot-spring bathing by a group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in their natural habitat. Am. J. Primatol., 69: 1425–1430. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20454
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 8 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Received: 18 DEC 2006
- Twenty First Century COE project. Grant Number: 14301-2006
- Core-to-core HOPE project, JSPS. Grant Number: 15001-2007.
- Macaca fuscata;
- hot-spring bath;
- age-sex bias
Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in a free-ranging group in Jigokudani valley, Nagano prefecture, are known to bathe in a hot spring. We used scan sampling in a study aimed at elucidating the causal factors and possible social transmission of this behavior. From 1980–2003, 31% of a total 114 females in the group habitually bathed in the hot spring. The habit was more widespread in dominant matrilines than in subordinate matrilines. Infants whose mothers bathed were more likely to bathe than infants of mothers who did not bathe. The number of monkeys bathing was clearly influenced by ambient air temperature. More monkeys bathed in the hot spring in winter than in summer. The results support the thermoregulation hypothesis of hot-spring bathing. Bathing behavior varies among age and sex categories of monkeys, with adult females and juveniles bathing more often than adult males and subadults. We compared hot-spring bathing with other thermoregulatory behaviors in various primate populations. Am. J. Primatol. 69:1425–1430, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.