Two newly observed cases of fish-eating in anubis baboons

  • Akiko Matsumoto-Oda Graduate School of Tourism Sciences Univ. Ryukyus
  • Anthony D. Collins The Jane Goodall Institute, Gombe Stream Research Centre, Kigoma P.O. Box 185, Tanzania
Keywords: Papio anubis, dead fish, seasonality, opportunism, propagation


Most non-human primates are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of food types like as fruit, leaves, seeds, insects, gums or a mixture of these items. In spite of frequent eating of fish in human, there are few species to eat fishes in non-human primates. Observations of fish-eating in wild primates bring us an important cue for the question why humans have evolved appetite for fish. Here we report two new fish-eating cases observed in anubis baboons (Papio anubis) at the Mpala Research Centre, Kenya and the Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Both cases were observed in dry seasons, and two adult males and a young female ate recently dead or dying fishes in each case. In these two cases, the opportunity of fish-eating occurred by chance and it will be difficult for them to eat fishes ordinarily.

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