Anthropology, Department of



Jeffrey A. Baum

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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 20 (2005). Copyright © Jeffrey A. Baum; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


Research was conducted at the EI Zota biological field station to determine the amount and type of food processing exhibited by mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) prior to consumption. Mantled howling monkeys have been labeled as behavioral folivores with limited morphological adaptations for foliage digestion. The purpose of this study was to determine if A. palliata displayed any food manipulations and how food was selected by the species. Breakdown of the data was done to evaluate differences based on sex for these feeding and foraging behaviors. Results showed no behaviors that could be classified as manipulating food items and limited inspection or sampling. Low reported manual dexterity for the species and foraging through learned behaviors is reasoned for the lack of these behaviors. A .. palliata was shown to select food items smaller than the size of their hand which were most likely immature leaves. Female selectivity may be greater with regards to food inspection; however further studies would be necessary to test this finding. A focal sampling methodology was used to show these findings and 434 full feeding bouts were observed over 32.5 observation hours.

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