Stable isotope evidence of meat eating and hunting specialization in adult male chimpanzees

Fahy, Geraldine, Richards, Michael, Riedel, Julia, Hublin, Jean-Jacques, Boesch, Christophe (2013) Stable isotope evidence of meat eating and hunting specialization in adult male chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (15). pp. 5829-5833. ISSN 1091-6490. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1221991110)

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Abstract

Observations of hunting and meat eating in our closest living relatives, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), suggest that among primates, regular inclusion of meat in the diet is not a characteristic unique to Homo. Wild chimpanzees are known to consume vertebrate meat, but its actual dietary contribution is, depending on the study population, often either unknown or minimal. Constraints on continual direct observation throughout the entire hunting season mean that behavioral observations are limited in their ability to accurately quantify meat consumption. Here we present direct stable isotope evidence supporting behavioral observations of frequent meat eating among wild adult male chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. Meat eating among some of the male chimpanzees is significant enough to result in a marked isotope signal detectable on a short-term basis in their hair keratin and long-term in their bone collagen. Although both adult males and females and juveniles derive their dietary protein largely from daily fruit and seasonal nut consumption, our data indicate that some adult males also derive a large amount of dietary protein from hunted meat. Our results reinforce behavioral observations of male-dominated hunting and meat eating in adult Taï chimpanzees, suggesting that sex differences in food acquisition and consumption may have persisted throughout hominin evolution, rather than being a recent development in the human lineage.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1073/pnas.1221991110
Uncontrolled keywords: dietary ecology, stable isotope analysis, human evolution, primatology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Geraldine Fahy
Date Deposited: 01 May 2015 08:26 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48164 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Fahy, Geraldine: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1281-1260
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