Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-25346
Sponheimer, M; Loudon, J E; Codron, D; Howells, M E; Pruetz, J D; Codron, J; de Ruiter, D J; Lee-Thorp, J A (2006). Do “savanna” chimpanzees consume C4 resources? Journal of Human Evolution, 51(2):128-133.
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Several stable carbon isotopic studies have shown that South African australopiths consumed significant quantities of C4 resources (tropical grasses, sedges, or animals that eat those foods), but relatively little is known about the consumption of such resources by chimpanzees. Here, we present stable carbon isotopic data for 36 chimpanzee hair samples from Fongoli, one of the driest and most open areas inhabited by chimpanzees. These data suggest that the Fongoli chimpanzees consume little in the way of C4 vegetation or animals that eat such vegetation, even though these resources are locally abundant and preferred fruits are more widely scattered than at most chimpanzee study sites. The homogeneity of the Fongoli results is especially striking and recalls the narrow isotopic distribution of stenotopic savanna mammals. This is in stark contrast to what has been observed for australopiths, which had highly variable diets and consumed about 35% C4 vegetation on average. Carbon isotope data for modern and fossil Papio depict a dietarily variable genus with a tendency to consume C4 vegetation. This trophic flexibility, or willingness to consume C4 savanna resources, may make Papio a more profitable ecological analog for australopiths than chimpanzees.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals > Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife|
|DDC:||570 Life sciences; biology|
|Deposited On:||12 Feb 2010 16:25|
|Last Modified:||23 Nov 2012 16:09|
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