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Keywords:

  • New and Old World monkeys;
  • apes;
  • figs;
  • seed germination experiment

Abstract

We examined the germination of Ficus seeds (subgenus Urostigma) after defecation by six primate species (New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes). Seeds from figs (control) and primate feces were placed in a thermostatically controlled chamber for 30 days. Seeds defecated by Alouatta palliata, A. pigra, and Cercopithecus aethiops showed significantly higher germination rates than control seeds. In addition, seeds from A. palliata feces germinated significantly faster than control seeds and seeds from C. aethiops and Pan troglodytes. These differences may be due to the different digestive characteristics of the six primate species. Zoo Biol 23:273–278, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.