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Am J Primatol. 2010 Feb;72(2):113-21. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20760.

Exudativory in the Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura, northeast India.

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Post-graduate Program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore 560 065, India.


In this study we estimated the extent of exudativory in Nycticebus bengalensis and examined whether exudates can be considered as fallback foods. This study was carried out in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary, northeastern India, in winter (December-February) and summer (March and April). We estimated time-activity budget using instantaneous sampling and used continuous focal animal sampling to record all instances and durations of feeding, over a total of 177 hr. Feeding accounted for 22.3+/-2.2% of the activity budget, with no seasonal difference. Bengal slow lorises fed on exudates, nectar, fruit, bark, invertebrates and avian eggs. In addition to scraping they also obtained exudates by gouging holes into the bark of trees. In winter, lorises almost exclusively fed on exudates (94.3% of winter feeding time). In summer, exudates (67.3%) and nectar from one species (22.3%) dominated the diet. This study identifies the Bengal slow loris as the most exudativorous loris. Exudates rather than being a staple fallback food, seem to be a preferred, patchily distributed and common food in the diet of the Bengal slow loris. Exudativory in this species is characterized by high selectivity among species and seasonal variation, which may be related to variations in productivity of exudates and their chemical composition. An understanding of these factors is necessary for predicting the response of this species to human disturbance such as logging. This study also underscores the importance of protecting some of the common species such as Terminalia belerica on which the loris feeds during periods of scarcity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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