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New Insights into the Evolution of the Human Diet from Faecal Biomarker Analysis in Wild Chimpanzee and Gorilla Faeces.

Sistiaga A, Wrangham R, Rothman JM, Summons RE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: A limiting factor in the application of the faecal biomarker approach is the striking absence of data related to the occurrence of faecal biomarkers in non-human primate faeces.In this study we explored the nature and proportions of sterols and stanols excreted by our closest living relatives.This investigation reports the first faecal biomarker data for wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States of America; Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Our understanding of early human diets is based on reconstructed biomechanics of hominin jaws, bone and teeth isotopic data, tooth wear patterns, lithic, taphonomic and zooarchaeological data, which do not provide information about the relative amounts of different types of foods that contributed most to early human diets. Faecal biomarkers are proving to be a valuable tool in identifying relative proportions of plant and animal tissues in Palaeolithic diets. A limiting factor in the application of the faecal biomarker approach is the striking absence of data related to the occurrence of faecal biomarkers in non-human primate faeces. In this study we explored the nature and proportions of sterols and stanols excreted by our closest living relatives. This investigation reports the first faecal biomarker data for wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei). Our results suggest that the chemometric analysis of faecal biomarkers is a useful tool for distinguishing between NHP and human faecal matter, and hence, it could provide information for palaeodietary research and early human diets.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Gorilla stanol partial chromatogram.Comparison of the m/z 215 ion chromatograms for the neutral lipid fraction from sample 13 (Gorilla female) and 11 (Gorilla silverback).
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pone.0128931.g007: Gorilla stanol partial chromatogram.Comparison of the m/z 215 ion chromatograms for the neutral lipid fraction from sample 13 (Gorilla female) and 11 (Gorilla silverback).

Mentions: Our data in Bwindi gorillas show a sex difference in coprostanol content (Fig 7) even if coprostanol and cholesterol amounts are higher in all the samples than those expected for a supposed complete herbivore. Mountain gorillas from BINP have a diet low in lipids [39] composed almost entirely of plant tissues that can include rarely ants or other insects [42]. Insects contain approximately 0,1% cholesterol (1mg/g tissue) like other animals, depending on species and diet [93–94]. It is possible that the accidental consumption of insects with vegetation affected these results.


New Insights into the Evolution of the Human Diet from Faecal Biomarker Analysis in Wild Chimpanzee and Gorilla Faeces.

Sistiaga A, Wrangham R, Rothman JM, Summons RE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Gorilla stanol partial chromatogram.Comparison of the m/z 215 ion chromatograms for the neutral lipid fraction from sample 13 (Gorilla female) and 11 (Gorilla silverback).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4465628&req=5

pone.0128931.g007: Gorilla stanol partial chromatogram.Comparison of the m/z 215 ion chromatograms for the neutral lipid fraction from sample 13 (Gorilla female) and 11 (Gorilla silverback).
Mentions: Our data in Bwindi gorillas show a sex difference in coprostanol content (Fig 7) even if coprostanol and cholesterol amounts are higher in all the samples than those expected for a supposed complete herbivore. Mountain gorillas from BINP have a diet low in lipids [39] composed almost entirely of plant tissues that can include rarely ants or other insects [42]. Insects contain approximately 0,1% cholesterol (1mg/g tissue) like other animals, depending on species and diet [93–94]. It is possible that the accidental consumption of insects with vegetation affected these results.

Bottom Line: A limiting factor in the application of the faecal biomarker approach is the striking absence of data related to the occurrence of faecal biomarkers in non-human primate faeces.In this study we explored the nature and proportions of sterols and stanols excreted by our closest living relatives.This investigation reports the first faecal biomarker data for wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States of America; Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Our understanding of early human diets is based on reconstructed biomechanics of hominin jaws, bone and teeth isotopic data, tooth wear patterns, lithic, taphonomic and zooarchaeological data, which do not provide information about the relative amounts of different types of foods that contributed most to early human diets. Faecal biomarkers are proving to be a valuable tool in identifying relative proportions of plant and animal tissues in Palaeolithic diets. A limiting factor in the application of the faecal biomarker approach is the striking absence of data related to the occurrence of faecal biomarkers in non-human primate faeces. In this study we explored the nature and proportions of sterols and stanols excreted by our closest living relatives. This investigation reports the first faecal biomarker data for wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei). Our results suggest that the chemometric analysis of faecal biomarkers is a useful tool for distinguishing between NHP and human faecal matter, and hence, it could provide information for palaeodietary research and early human diets.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus