Foraging Strategies Among Living Primates

  • Garber P
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A review finding a number of generalizable patterns/ relationships that affect primate foraging behavior: 1. Body size, dental morphology, and the volume and anatomy of the digestive tract are strong predictors of primate feeding behavior. 2. Primates that consume foods containing high levels of structural carbodydrates are selective feeders and exhibit a preference for foods with a low concentration of condensed tannins and a high protein-to-fiber ratio. 3. The ability to store and process information on the spatial distribution, phenological patterns, and productivity of feeding sites can significantly reduce foraging costs and increase foraging success. 4. Among some primate species, there is evidence that the size, distribution, and the renewal rate of food patches have a direct incluence on the size and cohesiveness of foraging groups. 5. With increasing food scarcity, subordinate group members may experience higher foraging costs and increased levels of interference competition. 6. In order ot accommodate the nutritional costs of lactation, females generally increase their feeding time and/or exploit higher-quality food resources. 7. In some species, individuals residing in a larger social group may be able to increase their foraging efficiency by cooperatively defending prouductive and clumped feeding sites.

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  • P A Garber

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