Faecal particle size in free-ranging primates supports a 'rumination' strategy in the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus)

Ikki Matsuda , and Augustine Tuuga, and Chie Hashimoto, and Henry Bernard, and Juichi Yamagiwa, and Julia Fritz, and Keiko Tsubokawa, and Masato Yayota, and Tadahiro Murai, and Yuji Iwata, and Marcus Clauss, (2014) Faecal particle size in free-ranging primates supports a 'rumination' strategy in the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). Oecologia, 174 (4). pp. 1127-1137. ISSN 298549

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In mammalian herbivores, faecal particle size indicates chewing efficiency. Proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) are foregut fermenters in which regurgitation and remastication (i.e. rumination) was observed in the wild, but not with the same consistency as found in ruminants and camelids. To test whether this species has exceptional chewing efficiency among primates, as ruminants have among mammals, we compared faecal particle size in free-ranging specimens with those of 12 other primate species. The discrete mean faecal particle size (dMEAN) increased with body mass (M) as dMEAN (mm) = 0.65 (95 % confidence interval 0.49-0.87) M 0.33 (0.23-0.43) in simple-stomached species. At 0.53 ± 0.09 mm, dMEAN of proboscis monkeys was particularly small for their average M (15 kg) and significantly smaller than values of two other foregut fermenting primate species. While we cannot exclude other reasons for the exceptional chewing efficiency in proboscis monkeys, this represents circumstantial evidence for regular use of rumination in this species. Thus, proboscis monkeys might be a model for convergent evolution towards rumination in a non-ungulate taxon.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chewing efficiency; Digestive efficiency; Food toughness; Foregut fermentation; Simple stomach
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2015 14:31
URI: https://eprints.ums.edu.my/id/eprint/9608

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