Abstract # 3222 Event # 221:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 12:00 PM-12:20 PM: Session 28 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


SEED CONSUMPTION IN THE SANJE MANGABEY (CERCOCEBUS SANJEI)OF TANZANIA: AGE/SEX PARAMETERS AND THE FALLBACK FOOD CONCEPT

C. L. Ehardt and G. M. McCabe
University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Anthropology, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
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Cercocebus mangabeys appear morphologically adapted to durophagy, with selection for such traits hypothesized to occur within the context of fallback foods. In a one year feeding ecology study, C. sanjei seed consumption (mean=27.7%) was second to fruit (mean=50.5%), with dietary proportion of seeds negatively correlated with fruit consumption. Consumption of fallen, exceptionally hard, dried seeds of Parinari excelsa increased when fruit consumption decreased, although variably across age/sex classes. Adults did not differ in proportion of seeds in the diet, but males consumed Parinari nuts as a greater proportion of their overall diet than adult females, and in negative correlation to their fruit consumption, unlike females. In the dry season, adults consumed a greater relative proportion of Parinari nuts; in the wet season, adult females consumed a greater proportion of seeds as Parinari than did males. Immatures consumed less fruit, a greater wet season proportion of seeds, and their relative consumption of Parinari did not vary seasonally. [All results significant at p<.02; mean group size=39; 30 min. scans, n=596.] These differential feeding strategies underscore difficulty in distinguishing preferred and specific fallback foods, including Parinari. C. sanjei exhibits strong tracking of a breadth of available resources, utilization of durophagous items throughout the year, and seasonal emphasis of items such as invertebrates and the fruits/seeds of lianas and terrestrial herbaceous plant material, common in disturbed tropical environments.