Urinary C-Peptide Tracks Seasonal and Individual Variation in Energy Balance in Wild Chimpanzees

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Urinary C-Peptide Tracks Seasonal and Individual Variation in Energy Balance in Wild Chimpanzees

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Title: Urinary C-Peptide Tracks Seasonal and Individual Variation in Energy Balance in Wild Chimpanzees
Author: Wrangham, Richard W.; Thompson, Melissa Emery; Muller, Martin N.; Lwanga, Jeremiah S.; Potts, Kevin B.

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Citation: Thompson, Melissa Emery, Martin N. Muller, Richard W. Wrangham, Jeremiah S. Lwanga, and Kevin B. Potts. 2009. Urinary C-peptide tracks seasonal and individual variation in energy balance in wild chimpanzees. Hormones and Behavior 55(2): 299-305.
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Abstract: C-peptide of insulin presents a promising new tool for behavioral ecologists that allows for regular, noninvasive assessment of energetic condition in wild animals. C-peptide is produced on an equimolar basis with insulin, thus is indicative of the body's response to available glucose and, with repeated measurement, provides a biomarker of energy balance. As yet, few studies have validated the efficacy of C-peptide for monitoring energy balance in wild animals. Here, we assess seasonal and interindividual variation in urinary C-peptide concentrations of East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). We assayed 519 urine samples from 13 adult male chimpanzees in the Kanyawara community of Kibale National Park, Uganda. Cpeptide levels were significantly predicted by the total amount of fruit and the amount of preferred fruit in the diet. However, chimpanzees had very low c-peptide titers during an epidemic of severe respiratory illness, despite highly favorable feeding conditions. Kanyawara males had significantly lower C-peptide levels than males at Ngogo, a nearby chimpanzee community occupying a more productive habitat. Among
Kanyawara males, low-ranking males had consistently higher C-peptide levels than dominant males. While counterintuitive, this result supports previous findings of costs associated with dominance in male
chimpanzees. Our preliminary investigations demonstrate that C-peptide has wide applications in field research, providing an accessible tool for evaluating seasonal and individual variation in energetic condition,
as well as the costs of processes such as immune function and reproduction.
Published Version: doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2008.11.005
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3693702
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