Abstract # 3069 Event # 239:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 03:00 PM-03:15 PM: Session 34 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


FEMALE RANK AND ENERGY INTAKE IN WILD WESTERN GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA), MONDIKA RESEARCH CENTER, REPUBLIC OF CONGO

J. L. Lodwick1 and D. M. Doran-Sheehy2
1Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY, 11794, USA
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High-ranking female primates in despotic societies have preferential access to contestable foods. However, the relationship between rank and energy intake is less clear in species, like western gorillas, with fewer contestable resources in the diet. Here we test whether higher rank (based on David’s scores) leads to increased energy intake among female western gorillas. Since contestable foods vary in their availability across seasons, we test for rank-based differences in energetic intake overall and during periods of differing fruit availability. During 245 half-day focal follows of four adult females, we collected data on feeding time and rate, which we used, along with nutritional data, to determine total energy intake per time sampled. We found no evidence for a significant rank effect on female energy intake overall, although higher rank was associated with greater energy intake during the two-month dry season (N = 40, p = 0.02) and greater intake of contestable fruits within the period of lowest fruit availability (N = 124, p = 0.03). Thus, higher rank confers some energetic benefit in female western gorillas, particularly during periods of resource scarcity. Supported by The Leakey Foundation, the National Science Foundation (SBR-9729126), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife.