The scientific name of the Crab-eating Macaque is Macaca fascicularis. Macaca comes from the Portuguese word macaco, which was picked up from makaku, a Fiot (West African language) word (kaku means ‘monkey’ in Fiot). Fascicularis is Latin for ‘a small band’. Sir Thomas Raffles, who gave the animal its scientific name in 1821, did not specify what he meant by the use of this word although it is presumed it had something to do with his observation of the animal’s colour.
The common name of this animal varies. It is commonly referred to as the Long-tailed Macaque because the tail of this macaque is usually about the same length as its body and because its long tail distinguishes it from most other macaques. The species is also commonly known as the Crab-eating Macaque. Another common name for M. fascicularis is the Cynomolgous Monkey, which literally means “dog-milker” monkey, which is the name most commonly used for these animals in laboratory settings. In Indonesia, M. fascicularis and other macaque species are generically known as kera, possibly because of the high-pitched alarm calls they give when in danger (“krra! krra!”).
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