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Minerals in the foods eaten by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei).

Cancelliere EC, DeAngelis N, Nkurunungi JB, Raubenheimer D, Rothman JM - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: We estimated the mineral content of foods consumed by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.However, less commonly eaten foods were sometimes found to be higher in specific minerals, suggesting their potential importance.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America; New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York, New York, United States of America.

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.

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Comparisons of mean mineral composition in gorilla food items at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
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pone-0112117-g001: Comparisons of mean mineral composition in gorilla food items at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Mentions: Plant parts differed in concentrations of Ca (H = 36.56, P<0.001), P (H = 14.99, P = 0.01), Mg (H = 31.85, P<0.001), K (H = 27.15, P<0.001), Na (H = 15.26, P = 0.01), Zn (H = 12.24, P = 0.03), Fe (H = 29.15, P<0.001), and Mn (H = 23.64, P<0.001), but not in concentrations of Cu (Figure 1). Roots were higher than all other plant parts in Fe (Table 1), and a single ingested rock sample analyzed from the site was also very high in Fe (2,520 PPM). Pith/stem was higher than bark, fruit, herbaceous leaves, and tree leaves in K, and had the highest mean concentrations for P, Zn, and Cu. Herbaceous leaves had the highest mean concentrations of Ca, Mg, and Mn, and there were differences between herbaceous leaves and fruit for Ca, herbaceous leaves and fruit for Mn, and herbaceous leaves, bark, and fruit in Mg (Table 1).


Minerals in the foods eaten by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei).

Cancelliere EC, DeAngelis N, Nkurunungi JB, Raubenheimer D, Rothman JM - PLoS ONE (2014)

Comparisons of mean mineral composition in gorilla food items at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221279&req=5

pone-0112117-g001: Comparisons of mean mineral composition in gorilla food items at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Mentions: Plant parts differed in concentrations of Ca (H = 36.56, P<0.001), P (H = 14.99, P = 0.01), Mg (H = 31.85, P<0.001), K (H = 27.15, P<0.001), Na (H = 15.26, P = 0.01), Zn (H = 12.24, P = 0.03), Fe (H = 29.15, P<0.001), and Mn (H = 23.64, P<0.001), but not in concentrations of Cu (Figure 1). Roots were higher than all other plant parts in Fe (Table 1), and a single ingested rock sample analyzed from the site was also very high in Fe (2,520 PPM). Pith/stem was higher than bark, fruit, herbaceous leaves, and tree leaves in K, and had the highest mean concentrations for P, Zn, and Cu. Herbaceous leaves had the highest mean concentrations of Ca, Mg, and Mn, and there were differences between herbaceous leaves and fruit for Ca, herbaceous leaves and fruit for Mn, and herbaceous leaves, bark, and fruit in Mg (Table 1).

Bottom Line: We estimated the mineral content of foods consumed by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.However, less commonly eaten foods were sometimes found to be higher in specific minerals, suggesting their potential importance.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America; New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York, New York, United States of America.

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.

Show MeSH