Variation in the Diets of Cercopithecus Species: Differences within Forests, among Forests, and across Species

  • Colin A. Chapman
  • Lauren J. Chapman
  • Marina Cords
  • Joel Mwangi Gathua
  • Annie Gautier-Hion
  • Joanna E. Lambert
  • Karyn Rode
  • Caroline E. G. Tutin
  • Lee J. T. White
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


Dietary data have been used to address numerous theoretical issues, yet we have little understanding of dietary flexibility in primates. Previous comparative research has either explicitly or implicitly assumed that the closer the phylogenetic proximity between two taxa, or the spatial proximity between two populations of the same taxon, the more similar their diets will be. We examine such assumptions by making dietary comparisons among arboreal Cercopithecus species at the intergroup, interdemic, interpopulational, and interspecific levels. Our analyses reveal considerable variation and sometimes the magnitude of the variation of particular contrasts is unexpected. We conclude that dietary flexibility blurs our traditional trophic assessment of primate species. Thus, a study of the diet of a single group, in a specific habitat, at one point in time may not be representative of the species as a whole. This flexibility suggests that a profitable avenue of future research is quantifying the degree of flexibility that different primate lineages have in their digestive strategies.


Forest Fragment Continuous Forest Primate Community Feeding Score Blue Monkey 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin A. Chapman
    • 1
  • Lauren J. Chapman
    • 1
  • Marina Cords
    • 2
  • Joel Mwangi Gathua
    • 3
  • Annie Gautier-Hion
    • 4
  • Joanna E. Lambert
    • 5
  • Karyn Rode
    • 1
  • Caroline E. G. Tutin
    • 6
  • Lee J. T. White
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental BiologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Formerly Mammalogy DepartmentNational Museums of KenyaNairobiKenya
  4. 4.UMR 6552, CNRS-Université de Rennes I, Station BiologiquePaimpontFrance
  5. 5.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  6. 6.Centre International de Recherches Médicales de FrancevilleGabon
  7. 7.Wildlife Conservation SocietyBronxUSA

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