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Diet and Primate Evolution Variation in the choices of food on a daily seasonal and yearly basis is one of the greatest differences between primate species Primate diets have generally been divided into three main food categories-fruit leaves and fauna including insects spiders and birds eggs for the most part The different diets also are referred to as Frugivores Folivores and Insectivores fruits leaves and insects respectively These gross dietary categories are correlated with aspects of primate activity patterns such as home range and group size There are different problems that have to be overcome in order to obtain a balanced diet on a day-to-day basis New leaves and mature leaves for example may have different nutritional bases or availabilities Some fruits appear in large clumps while others are spread thinly over a larger area Aside from diet primates have tended to either adapt through specialized dentition and digestive systems or rely on a variety of different foods Those that chose this second route have tended to have larger brain sizes relative to their overall body size This may be due to the need to know where different types of food can be found at different times throughout the year Have you ever looked at a picture of a gorilla or money that has what appears to be a beer belly look Those primates that specialize on eating large amounts of vegetation have difficulty digesting their meals Different solutions have been found including double stomachs or multichewes but the problem usually requires an individual to sit back and let the digestive system work-and on the die expel gas It hasnt been until recently that it was realized that primates who evolved in the canopy actually had a quite difficult time finding adequate nutrition Due to natural selection which strongly favors those traits enhancing foraging efficiency and this difficulty finding sustenance the characteristics regarded as belonging to primates were evolved Most primates species either maximize
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