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16Nov
2015
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Primate Eating Habits

Do you know anyone that is on a diet to lose weight? People are always trying to control their weight by reducing their food intake. Monkeys now being studied by the University of East Anglia do not seem to have to worry about their diets as they are busy eating all day. It is amazing how much fruit we monkeys eat.

From insect-munching tamarins to leaf-loving howler monkeys, researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have compiled the most thorough review of primate eating habits to date.Findings published today in the journal Oikos show how some monkeys consume their ‘five a day’ within a single hour and consume as many as 50 portions of fruit in a single day.The research focuses on the amount and diversity of fruit consumed by primates in neotropical forests of South and Central America. The team compiled data from 290 primate dietary studies spanning 42 years of research across 17 countries.

They reveal how primate body mass and the amount of fruit consumed are linked — with small monkeys such as marmosets and tamarins eating more insects and less fruit.The amount of fruit eaten gradually increases with greater body size and peaks at medium-sized primates such as saki monkeys. But fruit intake then declines in favour of leaves in larger-bodied primates such as howler and woolly spider monkeys.

Source: First in-depth analysis of primate eating habits — ScienceDaily