Diet and nutrition in wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and their implications for the evolution of female dominance and small group size in lemurs
Article first published online: 3 NOV 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 124, Issue 3, pages 234–247, July 2004
How to Cite
Curtis, D. J. (2004), Diet and nutrition in wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and their implications for the evolution of female dominance and small group size in lemurs. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 124: 234–247. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.10268
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2004
- Article first published online: 3 NOV 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JAN 2003
- Manuscript Received: 18 JUL 2001
- A.H. Schultz-Stiftung
- G. & A. Claraz-Schenkung
- Goethe Stiftung
- Schweizerische Akademie der Naturwissenschaften
- Primate Conservation, Inc.
- Bundesamt für Bildung und Wissenschaft, Bern, Switzerland. Grant Number: AIR3-CT94-2107
- feeding behavior;
- nutritional stress;
Data collected on the feeding behavior, food intake, and chemical analyses of plant foods were used to document seasonal variation in diet and nutrition in Eulemur mongoz in northwestern Madagascar. E. mongoz conforms to the general Eulemur dietary pattern, with a predominantly frugivorous diet supplemented mainly by leaves, flowers, and nectar. Phytochemical analysis revealed high water contents in all the main plant foods; mature fruit and flowers contained the most water-soluble carbohydrates; immature leaves were richest in protein and essential amino acids; the limiting amino acids in all plant foods were methionine and cystine; ash (mineral) content was highest in petioles and mature leaves; crude lipid content was highest in seeds; and crude fiber content was indistinguishable between immature and mature fruit and leaves. High-fiber foods were eaten during both seasons; the wet season diet was dominated by high-energy foods (mature fruit, nectar, and seeds), while the dry season diet contained foods high in energy (mature fruit and flowers) and high in protein (immature leaves) and minerals (mature leaves and petioles). However, nutrient intake did not vary between seasons, implying that nutrient requirements are met throughout the year. These results suggest we draw more conservative conclusions when interpreting dietary variability in the absence of chemical analysis, and also draw into question the idea that nutritional stress is a factor in the timing of reproduction in lemurs and, by extension, is linked to the prevalence of female dominance and small group size in lemurs. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.