Abstract # 2841 Poster # 40:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


DIET, FOOD HARDNESS, AND TOOTH USE IN RED-CAPPED MANGABEYS (CERCOCEBUS TORQUATUS) FROM SETTE CAMA, GABON

C. Cooke and S. McGraw
The Ohio State University, Department of Anthropology, 174 W 18th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
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Members of the Cercocebus-Mandrillus clade possess enlarged premolars, large incisors, and thick dental enamel. These traits are presumably associated with a durophagous diet, and researchers suggest that hard-object feeding is a fallback strategy for Cercocebus. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanical properties of foods, the processing of hard foods, or the importance of hard foods in the diet. We studied a C. torquatus group [N=70] in Sette Cama, Gabon from May – September 2009 and collected information on: (1) dietary profile, (2) mechanical properties of foods, and (3) oral processing activities. We predicted the hardest foods are accessed using the posterior teeth and these foods are eaten when preferred foods are unavailable. Foods were measured using a Type D Hoto Durometer (5 kgf), an instrument designed to puncture extremely durable objects. Forty percent of food species registered values of  ≥1, and these foods comprised 62 percent of total feeding scans. C. torquatus crack open the hardest foods, such as Sacoglottis gabonensis endocarps [29.39±10.9; 16% of feeding scans], with their premolars. They also use their incisors to scrape the relatively durable mesocarp from palm fruits [6.44±4.13; 11% of feeding scans]. These results indicate that Cercocebus uses diverse extractive techniques for obdurate feeding. Furthermore, the prevalence of hard foods in the C. torquatus diet suggests that the concept of fallback feeding needs revisiting for this species.