Document Detail

Significance of color, calories, and climate to the visual ecology of catarrhines.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15027092     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Here we describe correlations among visual ecology and the physiochemical properties of fruits and leaves consumed by four species of catarrhine primate: Cercopithecus ascanius, Colobus guereza, Pan troglodytes, and Piliocolobus badius. Collectively, their diet was diverse, with each species relying on fruits and leaves to different extents. The mean chromaticity of both foods, as perceived by the green-red and yellow-blue signals that catarrhines decode, was distinct from background foliage. However, selection on the basis of color was evident only for leaves. Primates consumed leaves with higher green-red values than the leaves they avoided-sensory mechanism that correlated with key nutritional variables, such as increased protein and reduced toughness. Moreover, the monkeys ingested leaves near dusk, when reddish targets may be more salient. Similar patterns were never observed with respect to edible fruits, the chromaticities of which did not differ from unconsumed fruits or correlate with nutritional properties. We also found that primate biomass is higher in seasonal sites. We conclude that these findings are consistent with the notion that routine trichromatic vision evolved in a context where seasonal folivory was pivotal to survival.
Nathaniel J Dominy; Peter W Lucas
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of primatology     Volume:  62     ISSN:  0275-2565     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Primatol.     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-03-17     Completed Date:  2004-05-11     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108949     Medline TA:  Am J Primatol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  189-207     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Cercopithecidae / physiology*
Color Perception / physiology*
Food Preferences / physiology*
Fruit / chemistry
Pan troglodytes / physiology*
Plant Leaves / chemistry

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