Possible mineral contributions to the diet and health of wild chimpanzees in three East African forests
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We present new data on the ingestion of minerals from termite mound soil by East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) living in the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, the Gombe National Park and the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Termite mound soil is here shown to be a rich source of minerals, containing high concentrations of iron and aluminum. Termite mound soil is not, however, a source of sodium. The concentrations of iron and aluminum are the highest yet found in any of the mineral sources consumed. Levels of manganese and copper, though not so high as for iron and aluminum, are also higher than in other dietary sources. We focus on the contribution of termite mound soil to other known sources of mineral elements consumed by these apes, and compare the mineral content of termite soil with that of control forest soil, decaying wood, clay, and the normal plant‐based chimpanzee diet at Budongo. Samples obtained from Mahale Mountains National Park and Gombe National Park, both in Tanzania, show similar mineral distribution across sources. We suggest three distinct but related mechanisms by which minerals may come to be concentrated in the above‐mentioned sources, serving as potentially important sources of essential minerals in the chimpanzee diet.
Reynolds , V , Pascual-Garrido , A , Lloyd , A W , Lyons , P & Hobaiter , C 2019 , ' Possible mineral contributions to the diet and health of wild chimpanzees in three East African forests ' , American Journal of Primatology , vol. Early View , e978 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22978
American Journal of Primatology
Copyright © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22978
DescriptionFor financial support, the authors acknowledge the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund grant numbers 0925272, 10251055, 11252562, 12254904, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Leverhulme Trust grant number ECF‐2013‐507, and the Boise Fund.
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