Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-5-2014

Abstract

Minerals are critical to an individual’s health and fitness, and yet little is known about mineral nutrition and requirements in free-ranging primates. We estimated the mineral content of foods consumed by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Mountain gorillas acquire the majority of their minerals from herbaceous leaves, which constitute the bulk of their diet. However, less commonly eaten foods were sometimes found to be higher in specific minerals, suggesting their potential importance. A principal component analysis demonstrated little correlation among minerals in food items, which further suggests that mountain gorillas might increase dietary diversity to obtain a full complement of minerals in their diet. Future work is needed to examine the bioavailability of minerals to mountain gorillas in order to better understand their intake in relation to estimated needs and the consequences of suboptimal mineral balance in gorilla foods.

Comments

This article originally appeared in PLos ONE, available at DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112117

©2014 Cancelliere et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.