Foraging and Nutritional Ecology of Primates in SE Asia

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Foraging and Nutritional Ecology of Primates in SE Asia

There are foods of various kinds that fit the foraging and nutritional needs of primates in SE Asia, these primates in question use the foods to extract carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats and minerals. We look at the impact of the environment on these primates for there foraging and nutritional needs. We also observe systematics, their distribution, their genetics, their anatomy, their physiology, their ecology and conservation. Some of these primates, to observe and study are wood antelope and fossarial leaf rat.

Availability of the plant species and their evolutionary history comes in and also cell theory is also looked at, fossil history is also looked at to some extent, and the whole work becomes interesting (Balee, 1998, 25) The foraging needs as well as the nutritional needs of primates are much varied due to the special needs of that particular primate. In most cases they need food to provide them with energy for growth, reproduction, movement and even at rest (the basal metabolic rate).

Once the food is ingested it travels inside the body of the organism or in this case the primate and once assimilated into the blood stream it passes through a process called respiration and the energy needed for the body is obtained, Normally, when the primates are still as infants, energy is really needed for their growth and development and as they mature their energy requirement tend to increase and thus the need for more food (Balee, 1998, p. 68) As for the wood antelope and the fossarial leaf rat they normally have a special kind of bacteria in their guts, which helps to digest cellulose.

This is because all the types of food the rely on have cellulose as one of the components and since other components are digestible, cellulose is not digestible and so the work of this special kind of bacteria comes in. The wood antelope feeds on the grasses, shrubs and bushes, which contain cellulose, and the fossarial leaf rat feeds mostly, if not exclusively on leaves of certain trees, bushes and shrubs and so they also contain cellulose. So this particular bacteria plays a very important role in the lives of these primates (Govbson, et el, 1998, p. 100)

The extraction of carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, proteins and minerals normally occur through some other body metabolisms, which also play a very important role in the growth and energy requirements of these primates. The extracts are also used in the bone formation, in this case proteins are used for this purpose and the minerals and vitamins are used for important functions in the bodies of the organisms (Leyh, 2007,p. 150) In any ecological systems there is competition among organisms for space mates and food. All these things that they compete for depend in one or another with the energy available.

For instance, if an organism is to get an adequate space for himself, the organism has to fight for it and unless he is strong enough, it cannot be easy for him to get it. It is more of the survival for the fittest and death for the unfit. Only the fittest is this case can survive. When it comes to competition for mates this one also depends with the idea of having enough energy for mating with as many mates as possible for the male, and having enough energy of bearing the pregnancy and being able to deliver in the case of the female. It is also another case of survival for the fittest

Another thing that these primates, especially of the same species must have enough and adequate food for them, those who are capable of getting food survive, while those who do not get die. This is also another good example of survival for the fittest and death for the unfit. Charles Darwin first put this forward in his theory of evolution of species (Kenzey, 1997,p. 15) Migration of the primates in question is one important area to look at. For an organism to migrate like in this case the wood antelope must ensure that they have eaten enough food because of the long distance, which may be required to be covered.

Migration normally occurs due to climatic changes, which may lead to scarcity of food, mates and poor or harsh environmental condition as such the organism is forced to migrate and look for a more favorable place to start life a fresh. (Balee, 1998,p. 250) In this case, migration does not make it possible for the primates to start eating different foods, what happens is that they go at a place with similar foods and nutritional needs which suits them. If this idea of starting to eat different foods could be true then it would have been brought through evolution.

The primates in question would have evolved a natural mechanism of adapting to different forages and nutritional needs; and it is the only known ways for the different mechanism to have been possible. This idea of evolution is very important in many ways, the first and most important case is this of the availability of the plant species, which provide food for the primates. Another is the cell theory, which gives room for the availability of certain organelles necessary for the type of environmental or ecological situations in which these primates in question find themselves (Caro, 1998,p.

341) These primates have therefore adapted certain special ways through which they use to survive in their environments. One important thing is that they have sight. This importance of sight comes handy to see their food or forages. And also being able to spot their enemies. The adaptation is evolutionary connected; and the nutritive values of the forages of these primates go together with evolution. The influence of forages availability on the primates in question, on their sociality and reproduction is another crucial factor to consider.

The fact that these forages are available within the environment of these primates shows that, they are influenced a great deal on their sociality and reproduction. In the first place the population of rats tend to be higher than that of antelopes, because of some factors, which we can consider, for one the rats are smaller in size and thus can occupy a smaller space with just a very large population of them. And secondly their evolutionary mechanism suits them to be many in number than the antelopes. These antelopes consume more food and therefore are naturally fewer in number.

Therefore food is a limiting factor in the population of these primates in question (Campbell, 1995,p. 120) Therefore in studying the population of these primates in question the factor of availability of forages is very important in deed. It determines the reproductive tendencies and also their presence in a given environment. Their daily habits are also affected. Their natural anatomy and physiology evolve according to available forages. This factor should always be put into consideration when dealing with systematics of these primates, if one is to be on the safe side (Caro, 1998,p.

350) Apart from the availability of forages for the nutritional needs of these primates one must also consider a depth the evolutionary tendencies. These primates have body structures suitably adapted for their functions. For instance, they have legs, which help them to run, from their enemies or rather predators, and also these legs help them to reach their foods in good time. (Caro, 1998,p. 50) The nature of their energy requirements is such that they function up to the time when they are required to rest, this is where the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) comes in.

The bodies of these primates function such that they must relax or have a rest. This is usually at right. It is common at night. As rest remains necessary and so is the regulation of the available food. The leaves are given time and room to grow and mature again. When the food becomes abundant, these primates tend to increase their population, which leads to a very high competition for food, and so there are those who die in the process especially when food becomes scarce (Campbell, 1995,p120) The food available to these primates is also connected to their evolutionary tendencies.

One will find that always there will be certain kind of trees shrubs or bushes where certain primates are found. In this case, some species of trees, which tend to produce leaves in plenty, will found where certain primates are found. This is important because it contributes to the importance of the food chain. As such certain animals will also be found there in plenty especially in this case, those animals which feed on wood antelopes like the lions, cheetahs and leopards will always be found in these environments.

The case is the same with those who feed on fossarial leaf rats. (Gouldey, 2007, 200) As such the foraging and nutritional ecology of primate in South East Asia recently important and complex as it looks. The fossils found in some places always have evolutionary connections with some primates . The fossarial leaf rats have some bearing of connectivity with the domesticated rats and some animals of lower form. As for the wood antelopes they show some similarities with some animals of both lower form and higher form.

The analyzed cases are very important as they contribute a lot of information to those who study the fossils; and the whole field of study becomes interesting. This clearly shows that the evolutionary connection of fossils and the organisms in question is true and reliable. The primates then must have evolved in a special way, where they have teeth for chewing their food or forages; their elementary canals are also highly specialized in performing their functions.

Mammologists should come up with better methods of studying the organisms in question, since there is a lot to show and inform those who are interested. In the case of the organelles of the cells, when the energy requirement is high the cell tend to have a lot of mitochondria, which help in the respiration process. But all this is not important if the food is not available. Therefore the special way through which these primates have evolved with time to be where they are and eat what they eat shows a very interesting field of study(Caro, 1998,p. 400)

As we consider more about these organisms, more information on theories should be properly compared and observed in the practicals so that the scientists or rather the mammologists should always compare with accurate and reliable information. The mammologists have always shown that the foraging and nutritional ecology of primates is an important field of study. As it provides us with some vital information concerning human beings, since human beings are also primates. Therefore the whole of these primates in question when properly studied, we tend to get some useful tips about us human beings (Balee, 1998,p.

650_. The nutritional needs of these primates may be varied with that of human beings, but they all belong in the same Kingdom and Phylum, as they have a lot of similarities than differences. These similarities are due to evolution. All the same, they play a very important role in the foraging habits of these primates, which are exclusively found in South East Asia. In this case it is important to note that energy and food are both important; one cannot be there without the other, in other words food is energy, and energy is food.

The food chain of the primates in question in South East Asia goes on and these primates become healthy and thrive. Their habits are maintained and the value of food remains crucial. Finally, the foraging and nutritional ecology of primates in South East Asia is notably very interesting; therefore a lot of money should be invested in the continuous research in this spectacular part of the world. .

Bibliography Balee, W (1998), Advance in Historical Ecology; Columbia University Press. New York Campbell, B (1995); Human Ecology; The Story of our place in Nature form Pre history to the present.Adline de Gruyter New York. Caro, T, (1998); Behavioral Ecology and conservation Biology; Oxford University Press; New York. Gouldey, M & Mahar, I (2007) Floods of fortune; Ecology and Economy along the Amazon Columbia University. New York. Govbson, S, et el (1998); Ecology; Oxford University Press. New York Kinzey, G. W (1997); New World Primates Ecology, Education and Behavior. Aldine de Gryter. New York. Leyh Jr, G (2007); Tropical Forest Ecology. A view from Basso Colorado Island. Oxford University Press. New York.


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 1 December 2016

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