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The Chimpanzees of the Budongo ForestEcology, Behaviour and Conservation$
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Vernon Reynolds

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198515463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198515463.001.0001

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Diet and culture at Sonso

Diet and culture at Sonso

(p.54) 4. Diet and culture at Sonso
The Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest

Vernon Reynolds

Oxford University Press

Chimpanzees spend 6-8 hours of each day feeding. Their foods are listed (in Appendix B) and their food preferences are described. Fleshy fruits are preferred, the favourite fruit being ripe figs, but they also eat leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, stem/pith, gum, and wood. A study of the role of sugars and tannins in the diet shows that there is a strong preference for sugars, and that tannins do not act as a deterrent. Seasonal factors influence the presence of certain plant foods more than others. As opportunity permits, chimpanzees eat insects and honey, and occasionally hunt monkeys and other species for meat. Sharing of foods includes fruits, termites, and meat. Sonso culture shares some features in common with chimpanzees at other sites, but the Sonso chimpanzees also have some forms of behaviour which are exclusive to themselves.

Keywords:   diet, culture, food, preferences, figs, sugars, tannins, sharing, meat

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