Primates

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 452–463 | Cite as

Some aspects of the natural history and food selection ofAvahi laniger

  • Jörg U. Ganzhorn
  • Jean Prospère Abraham
  • Marlène Razanahoera-Rakotomalala
Article

Abstract

Two groups ofAvahi laniger were studied in the Forêt de Analamozoatra near Perinet in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar from August to October 1984. Overlap between the home ranges of neighbouring groups ofA. laniger was minimal. Group size ranged from one to four individuals with a median group size of two. In four out of ten groups a baby was born between August and September.A. laniger were most active after dusk and before dawn. They had an extended resting period around midnight. Their diet consisted mostly of leaves from at least 17 different plant species. They also ate flowers. Fruit eating was recorded twice. Leaves eaten had high contents of protein and sugar but did not contain alkaloids. The concentration of condensed tannins did not differ between food items and non-food items. There was no indication of competition with other prosimians that might explain their nocturnality.

Key Words

Prosimiae Avahi laniger Natural history Plant chemicals Food selection 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Albignac, R., 1981. Variabilité de l'organisation territoriale et écologie deAvahi laniger (Lémuriens nocturnes de Madagascar).C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 292, Serie III: 331–334.Google Scholar
  2. Bradford, M., 1976. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantification of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye-binding.Anal. Biochem., 72: 248–254.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Calvert, J. J., 1985. Food selection by western gorillas (G.g.gorilla) in relation to food chemistry.Oecologia, 65: 236–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Charles-Dominique, P., 1975. Nocturnality and diurnality. In:Phylogeny of the Primates,W. P. Luckett &F. S. Szalay (eds.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 69–88.Google Scholar
  5. ————, 1977.Ecology and Behaviour of Nocturnal Primates. Columbia Univ. Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. ————,H. M. Cooper, A. Hladik, C. M. Haldik, E. Pages, G. F. Pariente, A. Petter-Rousseaux, J.-J. Petter, &A. Schilling, 1980.Nocturnal Malagasy Primates. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Clutton-Brock, T. H. &P. H. Harvey, 1977. Primate ecology and social organization.J. Zool. London, 183: 1–39.Google Scholar
  8. Cromwell, B. T., 1955. The alkaloids. In:Modern Methods of Plant Analysis.K. Paech &M. V. Tracey (eds.), Vol. 4, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 367–374.Google Scholar
  9. Crook, J. H., 1970. Social organization and the environment. Aspects of contemporary social ethology.Anim. Behav., 18: 197–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisenberg, J. F., N. A. Muckenhirn, &R. Rudran, 1972. The relation between ecology and social structure in primates.Science, 176: 863–874.Google Scholar
  11. Eze, J. M. O. &E. B. Dumbroff, 1982. A comparison of the Bradford and Lowry method for the analysis of protein in chlorophyllous tissues.Can. J. Bot., 60: 1046–1049.Google Scholar
  12. Feeny, P. P., 1969. Inhibitory effect of oak leaf tannins on the hydrolysis of protein by trypsin.Phytochemistry, 8: 2119–2126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Feigl, F. &V. A. Anger, 1966. Replacement of benzidine by copper ethylacetoacetal and tetra base as a spot-test reagent for hydrogencyanide and cyanogen.Analyst, 91: 282–284.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Freeland, W. J. &D. H. Janzen, 1974. Strategies of herbivory in mammals: the role of secondary compounds.Amer. Naturalist, 108: 269–289.Google Scholar
  15. Frohne, D. &U. Jensen, 1973.Systematik des Pflanzenreichs. Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  16. Ganzhorn, J. U., 1985. Habitat use and feeding behavior inLemur catta andLemur fulvus. Diss. Univ. Tübingen.Google Scholar
  17. Gautier-Hion, A., R. Quiris, &J. P. Gautier, 1983. Monospecific vs polyspecific life: A comparative study of foraging and antipredatory tactics in a community ofCercopithecus monkeys.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 12: 325–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glander, K. E., 1981. Feeding patterns in Mantled howling monkeys. In:Foraging Behavior,A. C. Kamil &T. D. Sargent (eds.), Garland Press, New York, pp. 231–257.Google Scholar
  19. Goering, H. K. & P. J. van Soest, 1970.Forage and Fiber Analysis. Agric. Handb. 379. Agric. Research Ser. US Dept. Agric.Google Scholar
  20. Harborne, J. B., 1982.Introduction to Ecological Biochemistry. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Hladik, C. M., 1977. A comparative study of the feeding strategies of two sympatric species of leaf monkey:Presbytis senex andP. entellus. In:Primate Ecology,T. H. Clutton-Brock (ed.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 481–501.Google Scholar
  22. ————, 1978. Adaptive strategies of Primates in relation to leaf-eating. In:Arboreal Folivores,G. G. Montgomery (ed.), Smithsonian, Washington, pp. 373–395.Google Scholar
  23. ————, 1979. Diet and ecology of Prosimians. In:The Study of Prosimian Behavior,G. A. Doyle &R. D. Martin (ed.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 307–357.Google Scholar
  24. ----Hladik, C. M. & P. Charles-Dominique, 1974. The behaviour and ecology of the sportive lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus) in relation to its dietary peculiarities. In:Prosimian Biology,R. D. Martin, G. A. Doyle, & A. D. Walker (eds.), pp. 23–37.Google Scholar
  25. ————, ————, &J.-J. Petter, 1980. Feeding strategies of five nocturnal prosimians in the dry forest of the west coast of Madagascar. In:Nocturnal Malagasy Primates,P. Charles-Dominique et al. (eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 41–73.Google Scholar
  26. Jolly, A., 1966.Lemur Behaviour. Chicago Univ. Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, W. T. &J. L. Mangan, 1977. Complexes of condensed tannins of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) with fraction-1 leaf protein and with sub-maxillary mucoprotein, and their reversal by polyethylen glycol and pH.J. Sci. Food Agric., 28: 126–136.Google Scholar
  28. Kates, M., 1972. Technology of lipidology. In:Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,T. S. Work &E. Work (eds.), Vol. 3, North-Holland Publ. Co., Amsterdam, pp. 267–610.Google Scholar
  29. MacPhee, R. D. E., E. L. Simons, N. A. Wells, &M. Vuillaume-Randriamanantena, 1984. Team finds giant lemur skeleton.Geotimes, 29: 10–11.Google Scholar
  30. McKey, D., P. G. Waterman, J. S. Gartlan, &T. T. Struhsaker, 1978. Phenolic content of vegetation in two African rain forests: Ecological implications.Science, 202: 61–64.Google Scholar
  31. McNab, B. K., 1978. Energetics of arboreal folivores: physiological problems and ecological consequences of feeding on an ubiquitous food supply. In:Arboreal Folivores,G. G. Montgomery (ed.), Smithsonian, Washington D.C., pp. 153–162.Google Scholar
  32. Milton, K., 1979. Factors influencing leaf choice by howler monkeys: A test of some hypotheses of food selection by generalist herbivores.Amer. Naturalist, 144: 362–378.Google Scholar
  33. ————, 1984. Habitat, diet, and activity patterns of free-ranging wolly spider monkeys (Brachyteles arachnoides E. Geoffry, 1806).Int. J. Primatol., 5: 491–514.Google Scholar
  34. Montgomery, G. G., 1978.The Ecology of Arboreal Folivores. Smithsonian, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  35. Oates, J. F., T. Swain, &J. Zantowska, 1977. Secondary compounds and food selection byColobus monkeys.Biochem. Syst. Ecol., 5: 317–321.Google Scholar
  36. ————,P. G. Waterman, &G. M. Choo, 1980. Food selection by the South Indian leaf-monkey,Presbytis johnii in relation to leaf chemistry.Oecologia, 45: 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Petter, J.-J., 1962. Recherches sur l'écologie et l'éthologie des lémuriens malagaches.Mem. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Ser. A, 27: 1–146.Google Scholar
  38. Pollock, J. I., 1975a. The social behaviour and ecology ofIndri indri. Ph.D. thesis, London Univ.Google Scholar
  39. ————, 1975b. Field observation onIndri indri: a preliminary report. In:Lemur Biology,I. Tattersall &R. W. Sussman (eds.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 287–311.Google Scholar
  40. ————, 1979. Spatial distribution and ranging behavior in lemurs. In:The Study of Prosimian Behavior,G. A. Doyle &R. D. Martin (eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 359–409.Google Scholar
  41. Razanahoera-Rakotomalala, M., 1981. Les adaptations alimentaires comparées de deux lémuriens folivores sympatriques:Avahi Jourdan, 1834,Lepilemur I. Geoffroy, 1851. Thèse Doctorat 3 eme cycle. ESS, Laboratoire de Zoologie, Biologie generale. Univ. de Madagascar, Tananarive.Google Scholar
  42. Richard, A. F., 1974. Intra-specific variation in the social organization and ecology ofPropithecus verreauxi.Folia Primatol., 22: 178–207.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Robbins, C. T., 1983.Wildlife Feeding and Nutrition. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Schaller, G. B., 1963.The Mountain Gorilla. Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  45. Siegel, S., 1956.Nonparametric Statistics. MacGraw-Hill Kogakusha Ltd., Tokyo.Google Scholar
  46. Smolenski, S. J., H. Silinis, &N. H. Farnsworth, 1975. Alkaloid screening.Lloydia, 38: 497–528.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Swain, T., 1979. Tannins and ligins. In:Herbivores,G. A. Rosenthal &D. H. Janzen (eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 657–682.Google Scholar
  48. Tattersall, I., 1975. Notes on the cranial anatomy of the subfossil Malagasy lemurs. In:Lemur Biology.I. Tattersall &R. W. Sussman (eds.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 111–124.Google Scholar
  49. ————, 1982.The Primates of Madagascar. Columbia Univ. Press, New York.Google Scholar
  50. Wright, P. C., 1985. Costs and benefits of nocturnality ofAotus the “night monkey.” Ph.D. thesis, City Univ. New York, New York.Google Scholar
  51. Zucker, W. V., 1983. Tannins: Does structure determine function? An ecological perspective.Amer. Naturalist, 121: 335–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg U. Ganzhorn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean Prospère Abraham
    • 3
  • Marlène Razanahoera-Rakotomalala
    • 4
  1. 1.Abt. VerhaltensphysiologieTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Duke UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Ministère des Eaux et ForêtsAndasibeMadagascar
  4. 4.Laboratoire de ZoologieUniversitè de MadagacarTananariveMadagascar

Personalised recommendations