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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 831943, 8 pages
Research Article

Intraspecific Variation in Maximum Ingested Food Size and Body Mass in Varecia rubra and Propithecus coquereli

1Department of Biology, Penn State Altoona, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona, PA 16601, USA
2Department of Anatomy, Midwestern University, 555 31st Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA

Received 15 December 2010; Revised 27 February 2011; Accepted 2 March 2011

Academic Editor: Kathleen M. Muldoon

Copyright © 2011 Adam Hartstone-Rose and Jonathan M. G. Perry. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In a recent study, we quantified the scaling of ingested food size (Vb )—the maximum size at which an animal consistently ingests food whole—and found that Vb scaled isometrically between species of captive strepsirrhines. The current study examines the relationship between Vb and body size within species with a focus on the frugivorous Varecia rubra and the folivorous Propithecus coquereli. We found no overlap in Vb between the species (all V. rubra ingested larger pieces of food relative to those eaten by P. coquereli), and least-squares regression of Vb and three different measures of body mass showed no scaling relationship within each species. We believe that this lack of relationship results from the relatively narrow intraspecific body size variation and seemingly patternless individual variation in Vb within species and take this study as further evidence that general scaling questions are best examined interspecifically rather than intraspecifically.