Table of Contents
ISRN Zoology
Volume 2012, Article ID 120250, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/120250
Research Article

Amount of Plant Foods Eaten and Sexual Differences in Feeding among Wild Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) of Kanyawara Community

Department of Biological Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Received 20 April 2012; Accepted 10 June 2012

Academic Editors: S. P. Henzi, S. P. Lambeth, D. Park, and A. Ramirez-Bautista

Copyright © 2012 Moses Chemurot et al. 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.

Abstract

The amount of plant foods eaten and sexual differences in food intake among chimpanzees in Kibale Forest was investigated between July 2007 and January 2008. Continuous focal animal sampling was used to collect data on the diet, number, and duration of feeding bouts of 18 individuals of the Kanyawara chimpanzee community. Chimpanzees utilized 42 plant species for fruits, leaves, and piths. Among plant parts eaten, fruits contributed the greatest percentage of fresh weight (18) in the diets compared to leaves (5.1) and piths (3.6). The duration of feeding bouts varied, ranging from 1.5 to 45.8 minutes. When Mimusops bagshawei fruits were eaten, the numbers of feeding bouts per chimpanzee per day were high compared to when they were not. While our study agrees with previous studies that females spend more time feeding per day, it shows that the long feeding time among females does not translate to increased food weight. We suggest that the social role of females in taking care of the young and their attention being taken up by this role while feeding and fears associated with male presence is the reason for long feeding time among females.