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Sooty mangabeys scavenge on nuts cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs: An investigation of inter‐specific interactions around tropical nut trees

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Sirianni,  Giulia       
Chimpanzees, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Gratton,  Paolo       
Great Ape Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Despres-Einspenner,  Marie-Lyne       
Great Ape Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
The Leipzig School of Human Origins (IMPRS), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Kühl,  Hjalmar S.       
Chimpanzees, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Lapuente,  Juan
Great Ape Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Meier,  Amelia
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Janmaat,  Karline
Chimpanzees, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Pinxteren_Sooty_AmJPrim_2018.pdf
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Citation

van Pinxteren, B. O., Sirianni, G., Gratton, P., Despres-Einspenner, M.-L., Egas, M., Kühl, H. S., et al. (2018). Sooty mangabeys scavenge on nuts cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs: An investigation of inter‐specific interactions around tropical nut trees. American Journal of Primatology, 80(8): e22895. doi:10.1002/ajp.22895.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-BD86-3
Abstract
Carrion scavenging is a well‐studied phenomenon, but virtually nothing is known about scavenging on plant material, especially on remnants of cracked nuts. Just like meat, the insides of hard‐shelled nuts are high in energetic value, and both foods are difficult to acquire. In the Taï forest, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and red river hogs (Potamochoerus porcus) crack nuts by using tools or strong jaws, respectively. In this study, previously collected non‐invasive camera trap data were used to investigate scavenging by sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys), two species of Guinea fowl (Agelestres meleagrides; Guttera verreauxi), and squirrels (Scrunidae spp.) on the nut remnants cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs. We investigated how scavengers located nut remnants, by analyzing their visiting behavior in relation to known nut‐cracking events. Furthermore, since mangabeys are infrequently preyed upon by chimpanzees, we investigated whether they perceive an increase in predation risk when approaching nut remnants. In total, 190 nut‐cracking events were observed in four different areas of Taï National Park, Ivory Coast. We could confirm that mangabeys scavenged on the nuts cracked by chimpanzees and hogs and that this enabled them to access food source that would not be accessible otherwise. We furthermore found that mangabeys, but not the other species, were more likely to visit nut‐cracking sites after nut‐cracking activities than before, and discuss the potential strategies that the monkeys could have used to locate nut remnants. In addition, mangabeys showed elevated levels of vigilance at the chimpanzee nut‐cracking sites compared with other foraging sites, suggesting that they perceived elevated danger at these sites. Scavenging on remnants of cracked nuts is a hitherto understudied type of foraging behavior that could be widespread in nature and increases the complexity of community ecology in tropical rainforests.