Diet and feeding ecology of gray woolly monkeys (lagothrix lagotricha cana) in Central Amazonia: Comparisons with other Atelines

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I studied gray woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha cana)in an undisturbed central Amazonian terra firme forest, near the headwaters of the Urucu river, Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil (5°50'S, 65°16'W). I report the diet and feeding ecology of a group of 39-41 individuals, based on systematic feeding observations obtained during 11 months. Woolly monkeys are primarily frugivorous; mature fruits and young seeds account for 83 and 7% of 3298 feeding records, respectively. On a seasonal basis, however, they relied heavily on young foliage (16%), seed-pod exudates (6%), and flowers (3%), particularly during the greatest annual period of ripe fruit scarcity, as determined by a phenological survey. Animals represent only 0.1% of their year-round diet, and they spent little time capturing arthropods and other prey items. Although at least 225 plant species, belonging to 116 genera and 48 families, are in their diet, the three top-ranking families (Moraceae, Sapotaceae, and Leguminosae) account for 43% of their food species and 63% of the time they spent feeding on a year-round basis. I compare the feeding ecology and diet of L. 1. cana in the Urucu and other taxa of Lagothrix in upper Amazonia - the last large-bodied Neotropical primates to be studied - to those of other ateline genera: Ateles and Brachyteles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-372
Number of pages40
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Atelinae
  • diet
  • Lagothrix lagotricha cana
  • terra firme forest
  • woolly monkeys

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