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Fallback foods and dietary partitioning among pan and gorilla.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19890854     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Recent findings on the strong preference of gorillas for fruits and the large dietary overlap between sympatric gorillas and chimpanzees has led to a debate over the folivorous/frugivorous dichotomy and resource partitioning. To add insight to these arguments, we analyze the diets of sympatric gorillas and chimpanzees inhabiting the montane forest of Kahuzi-Biega National Park (DRC) using a new definition of fallback foods (Marshall and Wrangham: Int J Primatol 28 [2007] 1219-1235). We determined the preferred fruits of Kahuzi chimpanzees and gorillas from direct feeding observations and fecal analyses conducted over an 8-year period. Although there was extensive overlap in the preferred fruits of these two species, gorillas tended to consume fewer fruits with prolonged availability while chimpanzees consumed fruits with large seasonal fluctuations. Fig fruit was defined as a preferred food of chimpanzees, although it may also play a role as the staple fallback food. Animal foods, such as honey bees and ants, appear to constitute filler fallback foods of chimpanzees. Tool use allows chimpanzees to obtain such high-quality fallback foods during periods of fruit scarcity. Among filler fallback foods, terrestrial herbs may enable chimpanzees to live in small home ranges in the montane forest, whereas the availability of animal foods may permit them to expand their home range in arid areas. Staple fallback foods including barks enable gorillas to form cohesive groups with similar home range across habitats irrespective of fruit abundance. These differences in fallback strategies seem to have shaped different social features between sympatric gorillas and chimpanzees.
Juichi Yamagiwa; Augustin Kanyunyi Basabose
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of physical anthropology     Volume:  140     ISSN:  1096-8644     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.     Publication Date:  2009 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-11-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400654     Medline TA:  Am J Phys Anthropol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  739-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratory of Human Evolution Studies, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
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