, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 313–326 | Cite as

Daily feeding rhythm in proboscis monkeys: a preliminary comparison with other non-human primates

  • Ikki MatsudaEmail author
  • Yoshihiro Akiyama
  • Augustine Tuuga
  • Henry Bernard
  • Marcus Clauss
Original Article


In non-human primates, the daily feeding rhythm, i.e., temporal fluctuation in feeding activity across the day, has been described but has rarely received much analytical interpretation, though it may play a crucial part in understanding the adaptive significance of primate foraging strategies. This study is the first to describe the detailed daily feeding rhythm in proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) based on data collected from both riverbank and inland habitats. From May 2005 to May 2006, data on feeding behavior in a group of proboscis monkeys consisting of an alpha-male, six adult females and immatures was collected via continuous focal animal sampling technique in a forest along the Menanggul River, Sabah, Malaysia. In both the male and females, the highest peak of feeding activity was in the late afternoon at 15:00–17:00, i.e., shortly before sleeping. The differences in the feeding rhythm among the seasons appeared to reflect the time spent eating fruit and/or the availability of fruit; clearer feeding peaks were detected when the monkeys spent a relevant amount of time eating fruit, but no clear peak was detected when fruit eating was less frequent. The daily feeding rhythm was not strongly influenced by daily temperature fluctuations. When comparing the daily feeding rhythm of proboscis monkeys to that of other primates, one of the most common temporal patterns detected across primates was a feeding peak in the late afternoon, although it was impossible to demonstrate this statistically because of methodological differences among studies.


Colobines Folivory Nasalis larvatus Activity patterns Feeding behavior Foraging strategy Foraging itinerary 



We thank the Economic Planning Unit of the Malaysian Government, the Sabah Wildlife Department, the Sabah Forestry Department, the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project and our research assistants for support. The Economy Planning Unit of Malaysia permitted our study. I. Matsuda truly appreciates Y. Matsuda for supporting his field work. Advice and support has been generously supplied by S. Higashi, K. Watanabe, J. Yamagiwa, T. Furuichi, G. Hanya, H. Takemoto, Y. Tsuji, A. MacIntosh, C. C. Grueter, C. Tan, P. J. Fashing, and R. Boonratana. This study was partly financed by HOPE and Human Evolution Project of KUPRI and JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research (24657170) to I. Matsuda and for Strategic Young Researcher Overseas Visits Program for Accelerating Brain Circulation, to KUPRI. The study includes data collected and analyzed using protocols approved by the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department, Putrajaya, Malaysia and the Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah, Malaysia, and such protocols adhere to the legal requirements of Malaysia.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 42 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 106 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ikki Matsuda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yoshihiro Akiyama
    • 2
  • Augustine Tuuga
    • 3
  • Henry Bernard
    • 4
  • Marcus Clauss
    • 5
  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  2. 2.Environmental Research and Management CenterHiroshima UniversityHigashi-hiroshimaJapan
  3. 3.Sabah Wildlife DepartmentKota KinabaluMalaysia
  4. 4.Institute for Tropical Biology and ConservationUniversiti Malaysia SabahKota KinabaluMalaysia
  5. 5.Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse FacultyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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