Our Non-Human Primate Species

Two species of non-human primates are used in our research:

  • Cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
  • Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta)

Learn more about macaques

Cynomolgus macaque

Cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis), also known as long-tailed macaque and crab-eating macaque, is a primate species indigenous to tropical Southern and Southeast Asia. Their range of activities includes virgin forests, secondary forests, mangroves and other forest areas close to water, and they are sometimes found in rural and suburban areas. They have a wide range of food sources. In addition to crabs, they also consume fruits, leaves, small animals, and birds.

Cynomolgus macaque can learn feeding and social behaviours by example, indicating its behavioural homology to humans. Because it also has other characteristics in common with humans, it is widely used in biomedical research as an important animal model in areas such as drug evaluation.

Despite their increasing importance as animal models, the cynomolgus macaque genome has not been fully characterised, limiting molecular studies of this model.

The species is smaller than the rhesus monkey with adult females ranging in weight from 2.5 to 5.7 kg and males from 4.7 to 8.3 kg.

Learn more about Cynomolgus macaque

Rhesus macaque

The rhesus monkey is also known as rhesus macaque or macaca mulatta. It is a sand-coloured primate native to the forest areas and widely distributed in the wild, from mainland Afghanistan to India and Thailand to southern China. It is very intelligent and agile, has four limbs, and usually uses them all to move. They are fast crawlers, skilled climbers and proficient swimmers.

The rhesus monkey has a bare pink face and brown and gray hair. Its tail ranges from 8.1 to 9 inches and males are slightly larger than females (males 7.7 kg, 53 cm, females 5.4 kg, and 48 cm).

Learn more about the rhesus macaque