APR 30, 2015 5:41 AM PDT

Monkey Mess Provides Clues to Monkey Meals

Researchers from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign studied saddleback Tamarin monkeys in the South American rainforests in the northern section of Bolivia to see if they could get detailed information on the diet of the species. The monkeys are difficult to observe when they feed however, so the team turned to analyzing the droppings for more information.
A Saddleback Tamarin in Mera Ecuador
Previous studies of the tamarins indicated their diet was composed of fruit, invertebrates, gums and saps as well as various nectars. This study was able to expand on the invertebrates consumed and found 20 families and genera being consumed by the tamarins that scientists had not observed before.

Paul Garber, an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University, and the study's co-author cautioned that it wasn't just about going out and collecting monkey poo. In an article by Claire Sturgeon about the study, he stated, "There is no substitute for going out and watching what the animals do, where they acquire the food, whether they forage alone or work together in a coordinated way, and whether that gives them an advantage in capturing prey. There are a lot of questions that require you to go out and watch them."

(Source: Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JAN 10, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 10, 2020
Are Edibles the Safest Option for Marijuana Users?
Cannabis edibles are growing in popularity, while cannabis products become more widely accepted across the country and beyond. However, it looks like scien...
JAN 12, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 12, 2020
Himalayan plant cover is shifting
New research published recently in Global Change Biology details the findings from a study on subnival vegetation in the Himalayan region. The findings sug...
JAN 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 19, 2020
Study Reaffirms That An Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs, Not Volcanoes
Oodles of massive fossils tell stories about the fearsome beasts that once roamed the Earth called dinosaurs. Some were merciless carnivores with jaws mean...
JAN 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 21, 2020
After Hibernation, These Grizzlies Turn to Clams for Nourishment
Grizzly bears spend up to seven Wintery months hibernating, and in that time, they can lose a substantial amount of their body weight. While surrounding ma...
JAN 23, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 23, 2020
Scientists Assess the Value of the Ocean's Twilight Zone
Fifteen years ago, an international cohort of scientists and policy experts introduced the idea of assessing ecosystems by the "services" they pr...
MAR 24, 2020
Technology
MAR 24, 2020
3D Printing Cellulose
Cellulose is a material found in trees and plants that can help build complex structures. The uniqueness of the material has inspired researchers at ETH Zu...
Loading Comments...