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Feeding behavior ofLemur catta andLemur fulvus

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Abstract

The feeding behavior of two sympatric species of lemurs, Lemur cattaand Lemur fulvus,was studied in an enclosure simulating a natural habitat at the Duke University Primate Center. L. fulvusspent less time feeding during the day than L. catta.But the former species ate more fruit and had longer feeding bouts on preferred food items than L. catta.They also had a shorter food passage time than L. cattaand their choice of resting places was more influenced by food distribution. Furthermore, the two lemur species ate parts of different plant species and showed different reactions to chemical plant components. According to these results, L. fulvusis a more conservative feeder than L. catta.These interspecific differences in feeding behavior may be one of a number of differences that allow the two species to coexist. In allopatry, however, L. fulvusmay also adopt feeding patterns similar to those of L. catta.But L. cattawas never found to change its feeding strategies in different areas. It may be this option of L. fulvusto adopt different feeding strategies in different situations that allows this species to have the widest range of all Malagasy lemurs.

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Duke University Primate Center Publication No. 259.

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Ganzhorn, J.U. Feeding behavior ofLemur catta andLemur fulvus . Int J Primatol 7, 17–30 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02692307

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