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Keywords:

  • geophagy;
  • Chiropotes satanas;
  • Amazonia;
  • bearded sakis;
  • diet

Abstract

Geophagy is rare in primates, but has been recorded in a variety of platyrrhine genera. The first observation of geophagy in bearded sakis (Chiropotes satanas) is reported here. Two bouts were recorded during long-term monitoring of a free-ranging group inhabiting a small island in a reservoir in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. On both occasions, soil was obtained systematically from a termitarium in the crown of an Eschweilera coriacea tree. Both events occurred during the late dry season. Although there is no evidence of any significant shift in foraging behavior during this period, it is possible that soil ingested provided an essential mineral supplement to a diet limited by the small size of the island. Am. J. Primatol. 69:816–820, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.