First Proof Gorillas Eat Monkeys? 
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 First Proof Gorillas Eat Monkeys?


First Proof Gorillas Eat Monkeys?
Mammal DNA in gorilla feces hints the big apes might eat meat after all.

But a recent study found DNA from monkeys and small forest antelopes called
duikers in the feces of wild African mountain gorillas in Loango National
Park in Gabon.
There may well be more mundane explanations for the surprising finding
explanations that'd have to be ruled out before gorillas could be
reclassified as meat-eaters, said study co-author Grit Schubert, a
primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in
Leipzig, Germany.

For example, gorillas are known to eat ants that scavenge the carcasses and
bones of monkeys and other mammals. When gorillas eat the ants, they may
also be ingesting and later expelling the mammal DNA in the ants' digestive
tracts, the study authors speculate.

Another possibility is that the mammal DNA came from live monkeys or duikers
that had been probing the gorilla feces for edible seeds or other leftover
plant bits.

Or the mammals "might have just{*filter*}ed it, sniffed it, or peed on it,"
Schubert said.

"There's plenty of opportunities" for adding mammal DNA to gorilla scat after
the fact, Schubert said. "I don't really think they're eating meat."

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 10:47:44 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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