Abstract # 216:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 10:20 AM-10:40 AM: Session 28 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


W. S. McGraw1, D. Daegling2, A. Vick2, J. Pampush2 and A. Bitty3
1Department of Anthropology, Ohio State University, 174 West 18th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1106, USA, 2University of Florida, 3University of Cocody (Ivory Coast)

Features related to acquisition and processing of hard foods are invoked to support the integrity of a Cercocebus-Mandrillus clade (Fleagle & McGraw 1999). Detailed observations of ingestive activities are generally lacking for Cercocebus species, yet such information is critical for understanding features (e.g., expanded premolars) within the adaptive complex and because both Cercocebus and Lophocebus mangabeys process hard foods. Since 2008, we have studied the feeding behavior of sooty mangabeys in Taï Forest, Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to assembling dietary inventories, we have collected data on food material properties and on oral processing activities. Our results indicate that sooty mangabeys consume foods from 30 plant species which are gathered largely from the ground and shrub layer. Approximately 80% of the diet is accounted for by fruits from three tree species, invertebrates, and fungi. The hardest item in the sooty diet – Sacoglottis gabonensis seeds - is the most frequently consumed food year-round. Consumption of different foods involves unique ingestive strategies, but post-canine crushing is consistently associated with only two foods, Sacoglottis and another hard nut, Coula edulis. Our data demonstrate that both incision and isometric biting are critical elements of hard-object feeding in Cercocebus atys and, together with novel data on enamel thickness, indicate that thick enamel in mangabeys should not be simply categorized as a response to seasonal processing of fallback foods.