There are about 40 to 50 individuals in this moderately-sized troop, including babies. They are led by a matriarch and a few ɑ males who wield absolute power as they live in an unfortunately despotic society, a bit like the Chinese and North Koreans.
The matriarch is Bossy , she is strong, big and bossy and a real daredevil. she is fair in disciplinary matters as far as macaques are concerned. She would readily lash out at anyone who try to come too near to her troop members, particularly the juveniles and the babies. At times she would intervene if a baby is being neglected by their mother. She is over 15 years old in my opinion ( in the wild macaques could live up to 20 to 25 years at most ) and has many offspring. Her youngest baby is Bossy Jr. whom for some reason has been mistaken by me to be a boy from the very beginning. As the youngest female in the matrilineal line she is the next most powerful female in the troop after Bossy 🙂
There are three ɑ males in this troop and they used to be more or less co-dominant but nowadays it seems the younger one of them has finally outdone the other two by his sheer strength and has become the de facto ɑ. He is buff, proud and really full of himself. He will readily leash out at anyone, including a baby who is in his way ! His name is Cocky for he sure looks like so 🙂
The next in line is an older male with a rather long face and a prominent and notched philtrum. He also has what looks to me like a right wrist drop and a middle finger on that hand that is permanently stuck out. He is kind to babies and I have yet to see him being nasty to them. He probably has mellowed in his older age and as such he will be known as Grandee from now on !
Below him is another male with similar facial features and abnormality of the right hand. His mouth is always slightly ajar and he always looks a bit spaced out to me. He’s probably related to Grandee and I suspect they were brothers and best pals since day one and had been fighting and working together to get to where they are now since they had left their mother’s troop to become independent many years ago. He will be known as Bleary.
We had seen him in my early videos before I got to know this troop. Yes, he’s the one with the radio collar, poorly fitted on his neck and he always looks uncomfortable with it. He’s very gentle and never bothers any babies. He always tags along with a younger petite female and they are probably lovers. For those who has been following my videos for a while he’s sometimes been referred to as Taggy and so be it for his name !
There are some drifter males who sometimes tag along with our gang but they almost always disappear when there isn’t much happening 🙂 or they just fail to sneak in for a quickie during the mating season !
The lesser mothers
There are about 20 odd adult females of reproductive age forming the backbone in Bossy’s troop. As they all rank below Bossy I’ll conveniently lump them together as the lesser female group. I don’t really know all of them and the ones I know better are all mothers except a few. They will be listed in descending order of their ranking within this group in the troop.
Aggy was once known as the Baby Snatcher for she was seen holding onto a baby against its wish on two occasions over a period of two weeks in late fall 2015. Thinking back she was just aunting quite aggressively then as she was probably about to go into heat. She’s the youngest mother ( I think she’s just over 5 year’s old ) in the troop with her first baby, Lilly born around late May 2016. She’s extremely fit and agile but she doesn’t seem to lead nor mingle too much and when she does so She seems to upset more by trying to grab and aunt their babies ! Her best pal is one elderly spinster, Granny.
Aunting : aka alloparenting is the provision of childcare by a member other than the biological mother in a group of animals.
Her aggressive aunting did lead to misunderstanding in the beginning. Unlike long-tailed macaques which kidnap to kill to maintain superiority of the dominant matriline rhesus have not been reported to do so.
Gravidity and Parity – just a nerdy way to denote obstetric history – Gravida, the number of times a female has been pregnant; Para, the number of times a birth has resulted from such pregnancies, viable or not.
Dorothy, as her name suggests ( Δωροθέα (Dōrothéa) meaning “God’s Gift” ) is blessed with something she is entitled to and she manages to keep it – her fertility. Indeed she was sterilised quite a few years back but somehow the vet had botched the operation and she has at least given birth to a baby boy, named Buddy between late June and July 2016. She resembles Bossy and is just as big boned. I guess she’s quite old and if she’s related to Bossy she would be at least 16 years old ( in most macaque society the younger female ranks higher than her older sibling ).
Lancy, a slender elegant female whom I know very little about even now and I only came to notice her first following the death of her baby girl in autumn last year ( 2016 ). Suffice to say she’s a high ranking female in this group of lesser females and if any female is going to become a mother again this year she’s well poised to it.
Her baby died probably from a fall 🙁
Lizzy, mother to little Mickey, the youngest baby from 2016 in the troop is probably related to Lancy as they both look quite alike. She is a very successful mother and had at least raised four older kids already !
Mickey was born exactly on the first day of September last year !
Haggy, so named as she always looks haggard to me, poor old girl. She is mother to another baby whom I know very little about and has always been referred to as the unnamed baby all the time. I suppose it’s fair to give him a name as he can’t remain anonymous all the time. I suppose Nony would do then ! If you examine her face she probably is an older sister of Lizzy hence Lancy too and in real life they do like to hang around together.
Reddy, she’s one of the most loving and caring mothers I’ve ever seen and she also takes to other babies readily. She is one of the younger mothers around and I think she’s between 7 to 8 year’s old. She had lost two babies previously back-to-back and now she seems to be taking extra care towards Dopey, her baby born last August ( 2016 ) and sometimes she seems to be even too doting on him and giving in to his needs too readily. Rest assured, Dopey is beginning to wean as we speak and we’ll see less of Reddy’s sole working nipple being stretched all the time by Dopey 🙂 Yes, it does need a rest too !
Dolly, she’s an older sister of Reddy I think as they resemble each other. She is a very experienced mother and has at least raised 3 kids already. She is mum to Baty, the very first baby born to this troop late last May. She is always rather fluffy but in her summer coat you’d see she actually is not as chubby as she appears to be !
Gypsy, the lowest ranking mother in the troop. She’s a bit like an untouchable as she not only gets bullied all the time she is not allowed near any goodies before others and by then there is normally none or only scraps left for her and other similarly lower ranking members of the troop. She is mum to Knotty who was born in late May last year and she has been trying her best in my opinion to care for her baby given her circumstances. But there is no denying to the fact that she had weaned little Knotty a bit too early though 🙁 In all fairness she does care about Knotty as I had seen her fighting Cocky for trying to bite lil Knotty before !
She did seem neglectful but she’s hungry herself as the registered old man who comes to feed them regularly had gone missing for a few weeks in a row !
These are some females whom I had introduced before in my videos, all are spinsters they are all low ranking but still rank higher than Gypsy ! Now you know her plight 🙁
Nellie is an old-timer with her cataract-induced iritis in her left eye but she’s not as ancient as she appears to be as I still see her flirt with Grandee during the mating season which falls between December to February every year. She however appears to be childless and I suspect she probably has problems conceiving. Like Gypsy she’s also low-ranking she just doesn’t get picked upon as often by others.
That’s how I first met old Nellie, deserted all by herself on the road….
Tammy, She is the only monkey who sidles up to me voluntarily and lets me pet her ! She’s also childless and she hangs around with a group of spinster who aunt and look after other babies in the troop.
Aunty, she’s a bit of a mystery as she seems to keep her distance from Bossy’s troop but does get involved a lot with babysitting. She is Knotty’s no. 1 aunt especially when he’s still very little. I really like her as she seems to try to answer to Knotty’s distress call if she happens to be nearby ! Another spinster she also appears to be childless.
That’s how I first came to meet her !
Granny, she recently came to my attention as the oldest female on Golden Hill Road as well as being a drifter almost all her adult life so I was told. Checking back some old footage she did appear to pop up from time to time with Bossy’s troop and she is especially associated with Aggy now that I make an effort to notice her though I see no resemblance between the two. Blinded in one eye and childless she is a bit slow but still agile enough to get out of any trouble. She ranks higher than Gypsy probably through her connection with Aggy !
The winner takes all and no descent is allowed. It’s unfair, it sometimes seems heartless and plain wrong but that’s the way it is and there is no point to get too upset about how their society is run !
For more information on the batch of babies from 2016 please follow this link.