Skip to content

Monkeys: Mischievous Rock Monkeys

Those Mischievous Rock Monkeys
Those Mischievous Rock Monkeys

Monkeys: Those Mischievous Rock Monkeys

Monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys! Everywhere you look are those mischievous Rock Monkeys! They are agile and a blast to watch. They run through the trees performing their antics as they go. What performers they are! Welcome to the world of the Formosan Rock Monkey.  They are known by several names, Formosan Rock Macaque and Taiwanese macaque being two main local names. However the most famous is the Formosan Rock Monkey. These cute little fellows grow to be between 50-60 cm and usually weigh less than 12 kg. The females are usually the smallest and appear the most delicate. These monkeys are usually grey or brown and have long tails. The long tails help them swing through the trees. What fun they are!

The Formosan Rock Monkey is endemic to The Taiwan Islands and live in the mixed temperate rain-forests and the bamboo jungles. Can you imagine going for a walk and seeing these cute little fellows squawking in the trees? What a delight they are.  They love to forge in the grasslands, looking for tender shoots of grass, both stems and leaves and the fresh new buds. Then there are the delicacies of a fruit tree or insects. The Formosan Rock Monkey especially likes to dine on snails and bird eggs. They can spot a nest of eggs from afar and are quick to enjoy before the mother bird returns.

The Formosan Rock Monkey often finds himself in trouble. This cute little monkey is the only primate besides humans who live in Taiwan and the human is his greatest enemy. His cute little pouches on the inside of his checks enable him to satisfy his longing for fruit and store it away for consumption once he is back in safe territory. He is hated and hunted by the farmers whose crops he likes to destroy. He does seem to have a knack at destroying the very source of food he most treasures.

Monkey meat is a delicacy in Asia and the Formosan Rock Monkey again finds himself as the only target to fulfill the desire for monkey meat. Since he is the only primate on the island, other than man, he is once again the object of the illegal hunter. This time his only crime is to be thought good to eat by the masses. Again his swiftness and his chubby little cheeks are his only defenses against the hunters and their desires for his meat.

What do you think? If he out runs the angry farmer and stays in the tallest trees away from the hunters wanting his meat, is he now safe? Not quite, now he faces even a greater foe. This one leaves traps and catches him alive. He is then shipped off to research labs the world over to be used in experimentation.  Here he becomes the lab monkey, or a medical guinea pig. Since he is a primate, he is prized for research when a new drug comes out. His system is one of the closest to the human and often drugs are first used on medical monkeys before being released for human trials.

The Formosan Rock Monkey is protected in Taiwan, so if he can outrun all the illegal hunters that are everywhere he can live up to 20 years, making the world a happier place with his sense of humor and antics. So next time you are in Taiwan, take a walk in the bamboo jungles or the temperate rain forest and watch these little fellows play in the tops of the trees.  They will bring joy to your heart.

Published on on March 12, 2017 at:



Exit mobile version