Diet and Feeding Behaviour of the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) in the Betampona Reserve, Eastern MadagascarBritt A.
Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Liverpool, and North of England Zoological Society, Chester Zoo, Chester, UK
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The feeding behaviour and diet of the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) was investigated in the Betampona Reserve, eastern Madagascar. The highly frugivorous diet of this subspecies was confirmed – feeding on fruits accounting for 92.0% of feeding records. Most feeding at Betampona was observed at 10–25 m above the forest floor amongst flexible, small (0.5–5.0 cm diameter) and oblique/horizontal (0–45°) supports. The Varecia spent on average 21.7% (± 1.5) of their daily activity budget feeding and employ a variety of postures that enable them to harvest fruits in the rain forest canopy. The suspensory postures were the most important in allowing Varecia to compete with other smaller-bodied frugivores.
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