When to feed on gums: temporal patterns of gummivory in wild tamarins, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis (Callitrichiae)

Citation

Heymann EW, Smith AC. 1999. When to feed on gums: temporal patterns of gummivory in wild tamarins, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis (Callitrichiae). Zoo Biology 18:459–471, 1999.

Abstract

This study examines the temporal patterning of gum feeding in two species of sympatric tamarin monkeys, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis, during the diurnal activity period. The number and duration of visits to gum sources and number of gum feeding records are used as parameters to analyze the gum feeding itinerary. Both visits to gum sources and gum feeding records show clear peaks in the afternoon, and the duration of visits to gum sources is longer in the afternoon. The observed pattern is interpreted as a behavioral strategy to prolong the time gum remains in the gastrointestinal tract. Only through prolonged gut retention can the b-linked carbohydrates be subjected to microbial fermentation. It is suggested that feeding itineraries receive more attention in primate field studies to provide information that can help to identify optimal strategies of feeding regimens under captive conditions.

Tamarin Gums28.pdf     3 MB

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