The Art of Eating

Too much summer and work to make this blog a more frequent output of my findings. But today, a short note on eating habits: Apparently, among primates everything is, well, fair game. Fruits and vegetables, of course (almost all of us). Leaves, oh yum, (a lot of us, especially the mountain gorillas and humans). Insects, well, yes (come on, everybody does it, and be it the odd bug on your salad leaf). Smaller vertebrates, ok. Larger vertebrates, ehm, if you need to… (baboons, chimpanzees and humans)? But then: Bark (Japanese macaques, gorillas, humans). Rotten fish, spat out by the see (Japanese macaques). Octopus straight from the sea (again, Japanese macaques). Own feces (gorillas). Conspecifics’ kids (chimpanzees: proven, gorillas: suspected, humans: at least in fairy tales).

Further reading on this menu: Dian Fossey: Gorilla’s in the Mist (1985); W.C. McGrew: Culture in Nonhuman Primates? Annual Review of Anthropology, 27 (1998); Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm: Hänsel und Gretel (1812); Jane Goodall: In the Shadow of Man (1971); Desmond Morris: The Naked Ape (1967); Naofumi Nakagawa, Masayuki Nakamichi, Hideki Sugiura (Ed.): The Japanese Macaques (2010); Shirley C. Strum: Almost Human (1987); Richard Wrangham, Dale Peterson: Demonic Males (1996).

 

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The Art of Eating

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