Seasonal variation and sex differences in the nutritional status in two local populations of wild Japanese macaques
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- Muroyama, Y., Kanamori, H. & Kitahara, E. Primates (2006) 47: 355. doi:10.1007/s10329-006-0184-x
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Seasonal variations and sex differences in the nutritional status in two local populations of wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata fuscata) were examined. It was hypothesized that the ecological condition and/or reproductive strategies of each sex determine the nutritional condition and its seasonal fluctuation in each sex. Morphometric measures such as body mass, thoracic and femoris circumferences, skinfold thickness in four places (triceps, biceps femoris, subscapular, and abdomen), and wet mass of mesenteric and omental fat were used for comparisons between sexes, seasons, and populations. Animals of the Shimane population were larger than those of the Boso population in most morphometric measures, abdominal skinfold, and mesenteric and omental fat mass, suggesting environmental and/or genetic differences in the two populations. Females of both populations had larger skinfolds and mesenteric and omental fat mass than males, indicating that females had more fat than males. Females showed seasonality in most measures, having two peaks of body mass, thoracic and femoris circumferences, abdominal skinfold, and mesenteric and omental fat masses in early spring and late fall. In contrast, males exhibited no clear seasonal variations for most measurements, except for biceps femoris and subscapular skinfolds, which showed peaks in summer. Most morphometric measurements significantly correlated to each other, particularly in females, but most skinfolds had no correlation with other measurements. These findings suggest that sexual dimorphism in body composition and its fluctuation may be affected by the different reproductive strategies of males and females.