Monday, March 08, 2010

First Proof Gorillas Eat Monkeys?

gorilla meat eaterLike the vegetarian who can't resist the occasional burger, the otherwise herbivorous gorilla might succumb to cravings for its evolutionary cousins, a new study hints.

While some zoo specimens are known to eat meat, wild gorillas eat only plants and fruit, along with the odd insect—as far as scientists know (see video of wild gorillas feasting on figs).

But a recent study found DNA from monkeys and small forest antelopes called duikers in the feces of wild African mountain gorillas in Loango National Park in Gabon.

The discovery raises the possibility that gorillas might have a secret meat habit—scavenging or hunting discretely.

There may well be more mundane explanations for the surprising finding—explanations that'd have to be ruled out before gorillas could be reclassified as meat-eaters, said study co-author Grit Schubert, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Full story here.

1 comment:

mherzog said...

Here is a good video on meat: