Menu
Fun

for Kids

What makes Japanese macaques so cool? Build your own primate to find out—or test your snow monkey IQ!
Learn
What makes Japanese macaques so cool? Build your own primate to find out—or test your snow monkey IQ!
Learn

Snow Monkeys Play — and So Should You!

What do snow monkeys do for fun? In the wild, they might jump into a hot spring to warm up or stack up and knock down stones. At the zoo, they can also try touch-screen games on two computers in their exhibit — similar to what you’re doing here!

Build a Primate

From big eyes to spot prey at night to long tails to boost balance, pick the perfect parts to build your own primate! As you do, see if you can match the amazing species found at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Start Building

Mix and match parts to build a primate.
Play
Start Building
Mix and match parts to build a primate.
It's a Match!
Tarsier

Large suction cup–like fingers help tarsiers climb and grab prey.

Black Howler Monkey

Special “throat sacs” helps black howler monkeys announce their territory.

Ring-Tailed Lemur

Big, bushy tails help ring-tailed lemurs spot family members in the leaves.

Pied Tamarin

Sharp claws help pied tamarins hold tightly to the tree trunks.

Bolivian Grey Titi Monkey

Long legs power big leaps for Bolivian gray titi monkeys!

Moholi Bushbaby

Large eyes and bat-like ears help Moholi bushbabies find prey in the dark.

De Brazza's Monkey

Cheek pouches let De Brazza’s monkeys hold extra food when foraging.

Crowned Lemur

A special “grooming claw” helps crowned lemurs clean friends and family.

Black-and-White Colobus

Short thumbs stay out of the way when black-and-white colobus jump tree to tree.

Japanese Macaque

Short tails and thick fur help Japanese macaques avoid frostbite in snowy homes.

Francois' Langur

A long tail helps a Francois’ langur keep its balance in the branches.

Start Building
Mix and match parts to build a primate.
It's a Match!
Tarsier

Large suction cup–like fingers help tarsiers climb and grab prey.

Black Howler Monkey

Special “throat sacs” helps black howler monkeys announce their territory.

Ring-Tailed Lemur

Big, bushy tails help ring-tailed lemurs spot family members in the leaves.

Pied Tamarin

Sharp claws help pied tamarins hold tightly to the tree trunks.

Bolivian Grey Titi Monkey

Long legs power big leaps for Bolivian gray titi monkeys!

Moholi Bushbaby

Large eyes and bat-like ears help Moholi bushbabies find prey in the dark.

De Brazza's Monkey

Cheek pouches let De Brazza’s monkeys hold extra food when foraging.

Crowned Lemur

A special “grooming claw” helps crowned lemurs clean friends and family.

Black-and-White Colobus

Short thumbs stay out of the way when black-and-white colobus jump tree to tree.

Japanese Macaque

Short tails and thick fur help Japanese macaques avoid frostbite in snowy homes.

Francois' Langur

A long tail helps a Francois’ langur keep its balance in the branches.

Head
Eyes
Tail
Body

True or False?

Test your snow monkey IQ!

True or False

Learn more about Japanese macaques... and test your knowledge!
Play

True or False

Japanese macaques groom each other to strengthen their friendships.

The Answer Is

True
Next Question  >
Grooming boosts social bonds for many primates, including snow monkeys. It’s not only relatives that interact this way. Unrelated monkeys in a troop will groom each other to strengthen ties—and keep clean!

True or False

Snow monkeys live further north than any other non-human primate.

The Answer Is

True
Next Question  >
Japanese macaques live in the forested mountains of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, three of Japan’s four main islands. The four seasons there mirror those of Chicago. Winter temperatures can drop to as low as 5 degrees. No other non-human primate lives this far north or tolerates these extreme temperatures.

True or False

Young Japanese macaques make snowballs to use in fights with other troop members.

The Answer Is

False
Next Question  >
Young snow monkeys have been observed making snowballs at several locations. But they haven’t been observed throwing the snowballs. Crafting them is play enough!

True or False

Snow monkeys are vegetarians, dining only on the buds and bark of broadleaf trees.

The Answer Is

False
Next Question  >
Japanese macaques are omnivores. They eat many different types of plants—and parts of plants (leaves, seeds, and roots)—as well as invertebrates, fungi, fruit and fish.

True or False

Like squirrels, Japanese macaques bury food to be eaten later.

The Answer Is

True
Next Question  >
When food is harder to find in the cold winter months, snow monkeys will eat the bark and buds of broadleaf trees. Some even bury nuts or seeds in the snow to retrieve later—a tactic shared by Chicago’s squirrels.

True or False

All the males in a Japanese macaque troop are related.

The Answer Is

False
Next Question  >
Male snow monkeys leave their “birth troop” to join other troops while females stay in the same family group for life. Because females stay, macaque social groups revolve around female relationships. Young macaques inherit rank and status from their mothers. Several families of related females may be present in one troop at the same time while males are often unrelated.

True or False

Japanese macaques communicate with facial expressions rather than vocalizations.

The Answer Is

False
Next Question  >
Snow monkeys do communicate with facial expressions; examples include brow raising and grimacing. But they also vocalize everything from alarm cries to mating calls. Roughly half these calls are peaceful, including the common “coo” used to reinforce social ties.

True or False

Snow monkey troops have their own cultures.

The Answer Is

True
Next Question  >
Japanese macaque troops produce behaviors and calls unique to the region where they live. Individual monkeys learn from one another, and the behaviors are often passed down through the generations. Examples of learned behaviors include washing potatoes in water, making snowballs and soaking in hot tubs!

True or False

A Japanese macaque’s face turns bright red when he or she is ready to mate.

The Answer Is

True
Start Over  >
This doesn’t happen because they’re bashful. Instead, it’s a form of communication. The color change tells potential partners an individual is ready to mate. This type of adaptation is common in primate groups with multiple adult males and females.

Color!

Watch a little Japanese macaque leap into mom's arms, then bring your own snow-monkey scene to life with our downloadable coloring pages.

Fun with the Family

Download PDF Coloring Pages

Snow Monkey Snapshots

See the latest photos of what the macaques are doing every day!
Follow Lincoln Park Zoo
© 2015 Lincoln Park Zoo | Media Credits | Feedback or Questions? Contact us at snowmonkeys@lpzoo.org | site by Orbit Media