, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 183-204

Contribution to the study of alimentation of lowland gorillas in the natural state, in Río Muni, republic of equatorial guinea (West Africa)

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Abstract

Some important aspects of the alimentation of the lowland gorillas have been studied in eight different localities in Río Muni (West Africa) during several periods of time from 1956 to 1969; our observations totalize 672 hr, of which 54.5 hr have been of direct visual contact with the animals. Also included are 29 hr of direct visual contact with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda (Central Africa) during the months of July and August, 1972.

We list 92 vegetal species and one product of animal origin consumed by these primates. We also analyze the different vegetal products consumed by these animals in different biotopes and in relation to the stational cycles and their organoleptic factors.

Our results indicate that the preferred food is made of three different species ofAframomum, and that gorillas like sweet-sour flavors and are attracted by green and intense red colors. We also analyze some behavioral patterns directed to the exploitation of different biotopes (Primary Equatorial Forest) and new vegetable especies introduced by man.