Cold Monkeys—Hot Springs!
No one pulls rank better than the Japanese macaques, or “snow monkeys,” which live in the mountainous regions of Japan’s Honshu Island. The region is racked with heavy snowfall every winter and freezing temperatures that can drop below -4 degrees Fahrenheit, so the monkeys have devised a clever way to stay warm.
They have a layer of fat to serve as insulation and a thick coat to help keep warm, but that’s just the start. When the cold gets unbearable, they head to the hot springs peppering the volcanic island, and this is where the monkeys pull rank. An inbuilt caste system from the mother’s side determines who has dibs on the pool. The high-ranking youngsters get to swim, play, and suckle from their moms in the pool, as the lower ranking monkeys look on dejectedly. When the monkeys emerge from the hot springs, the lack of sweat glands on the monkey’s body seals the heat in.