, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 311-325

First online:

Digestive strategy of the asian colobine genusTrachypithecus

  • Judith M. CatonAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, The Australian National University

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The Asian colobines,Trachypithecus obscurus andT. cirstantus, eat plant-based diets containing 55–80% leaves. The structural polysaccharides in leaves and other plant parts require microbial fermentation before they can be used as an energy source by the monkeys. The major compartments of the gastro-intestinal tract ofTrachypithecus are a voluminous haustrated stomach, a long small itnestine and capacious haustrated hindgut, all of which contribute to the digestive strategy of these two species. Results of digesta marker passage studies indicate there is prolonged retention of digesta for fermentation in both the stomach and haustrated colon. The digestive strategy of these colobines is defined as gastro-colic fermentation, unlike that of other forestomach fermenters in which the hindgut fermentation is of secondary importance.

Key words

Colobinae Trachypithecus spp. Gastro-colic fermentation Forestomach Colon