Abstract # 6065 Event # 186:

Scheduled for Monday, September 15, 2014 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: Session 25 (Mary Gay) Oral Presentation


MACRONUTRIENT TRADE-OFFS IN BAOBAB (ADANSONIA DIGITATA) FRUIT FOR WESTERN CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES VERUS) AT FONGOLI, SENEGAL

S. M. Lindshield1, J. M. Rothman2,3 and J. D. Pruetz1
1Iowa State University, 324 Curtiss Hall, Department of Anthropology, Ames, IA 50011, USA, 2Hunter College of the City University of New York, 3New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
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     Although nutrient balancing is thought to be important to chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), it is unclear how this process shapes their food selection behavior. Our study addresses this problem through assessing the macronutrient composition of foods for western chimpanzees (P. t. verus) at Fongoli, Senegal. We focused on baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit in relation to the foraging behavior of focal study subjects (N=11) during two baobab fruit seasons. Baobab fruit was the top food during the study, as chimpanzees consumed it during 67% of feeding observations. Fruit pulp (N=105 fruits) was high in nonstructural carbohydrates (Mean=76.4%), but low in protein (Mean=3.3%) and fat (Mean=0.9%). The low protein in pulp indicates that individuals must supplement their diets with alternative protein sources. Concomitantly, chimpanzees routinely re-ingested baobab seeds by extracting them from feces, removing the softened coat and ingesting the kernel. In contrast to baobab pulp, kernels were on average 36.4% available protein and 29.7% fat (N=4), containing the highest protein and fat concentrations of 37 different foods sampled. It is likely that pairing baobab fruit pulp with seed enables individuals to efficiently meet most protein and energy requirements, and explains the prevalence of seed re-ingestion, an unusual behavior, in Fongoli chimpanzees.