Non-Dietary Analytical Features of Chimpanzee Scats
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CitationPhillips, Caroline, A. Richard Wrangham, and William McGrew. 2017. Non-dietary Analytical Features of Chimpanzee Scats. Primates 58, no. 3: 393-402.
AbstractNon-dietary aspects of ape scats such as scat weight and diameter are correlated with age and sex of defaecator for gorillas and orangutans. Defaecation rates of primates, including apes, illuminate their role as primary seed dispersers. We assess if non-dietary features of scats for East African chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii ) reveal such insights for members of the Kanyawara community in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Our objective is to see if such data yield useful perspectives for future census work on unhabituated chimpanzees, that is, what can scats tell us about a wild study population, beyond diet? We followed ten adults from this community, as well as travelling parties, comparing observed vs. unobserved defaecations, and collected data on scat weight and dimensions, defaecation rate, scat encounter rate, and interval between defaecations. Few non-dietary features of chimpanzee scats significantly differentiated sex or age of the defaecator, but total scat length and height distinguished adults from juveniles/infants. Defaecation rates and distance travelled were similar for adult males and females, indicating the importance of both sexes as potential primary seed dispersers. Observed travelling parties vs. non-observed travelling parties yielded similar data, indicating the potential to assess party size from scat encounter rates over a set distance. We provide detailed measurements of scat dimensions for this ape taxon which previously have been lacking. This research builds upon prior work by recording more in-depth data for focal subjects and travelling parties on defaecation and scat encounter rates. The findings presented should assist in the interpretation of scat data when censusing unhabituated chimpanzees.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41707596
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