Japanese macaques eat a variety of plants and insects and, because they eat fruit and seeds, act as seed dispersers. They have been observed crushing and eating seeds and are also considered seed predators. About 36% of seeds on average were recovered after passing through the gastrointestinal process in captive Japanese macaques. Although Japanese macaques compete with Sika deer for some plants on Kinkazan Island, they are also commensalists. When Japanese macaques climb to the tops of trees to forage for the most energy sufficient foods, they inadvertently knock down leaves, which Sika deer eat.
Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds
- Majolo, B. 2004. Apparent feeding association between Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui) and sika deer (Cervus nippon) living on Yakushima Island, Japan B.. Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 16: 33-40.
- Tsuji, Y., M. Morimoto, K. Matsubayashi. 2009. Effects of the Physical Characteristics of Seeds on Gastrointestinal Passage Time in Captive Japanese Macaques. Journal of Zoology, 280: 171-176.