Posts Tagged ‘primates’

Photo: David M. Jensen (Storkk) via Wikimedia.
Capuchin monkeys like the same fruits that certain fish like. And the fish know it.

My husband is up very early and often checks to see what’s doing in the No Man’s Land of early morning television. There are always lots of ads for pharmaceuticals geared to the elderly. Sometimes there are ancient black and white movies. Or there might be reruns of David Attenborough nature shows.

That’s how he learned about fish that have a symbiotic relationship with monkeys. I had to search online to learn more.

One helpful article was from DPZ in Germany, here.

“Eckhard W. Heymann of the German Primate Center (DPZ) and Shin Shin Hsia von Earth Corps have found by reviewing literature, that various vertebrate species intermittently associate with primates to profit from the primates’ behavior.

“The idea suggests itself: Where one animal species feeds, remains of the food might be dropped which will be a meal to another species or potential prey might be flushed. If both species tolerate each other, they might even benefit from each others’ alarm calls against predators. But data about such associations in primates have been mostly confined to stray remarks in primate studies.”

The authors of Unlike fellows – a review of primate-non-primate associations “have now reviewed a large number of relevant studies and by comparative analysis found that such associations have been documented quite often throughout almost all ranges of primates worldwide. Highlighting this conclusion, the review adds a new role in primates’ significance for their habitat to the roster.

“The researchers have found evidence for 174 such primate – non-primate associations (PNPA) in total, involving 64 primate species and 95 other vertebrates. Most of these associations can be categorized as commensalist: They are beneficial for the one part, neutral for the other (in this case mainly the primate species).

“Most often birds associate with primates. In Africa for example, the black-casqued hornbill (Ceratogymna astrata) joins several medium-sized primate species while these feed on fruit from trees. The birds take advantage of the relative security produced by the primates’ vigilance and alarm calls against predators. Also the asiatic chital deer (Axis axis) entertains a close relation to northern plains gray langurs (Semnopithecus entellus): the deer follows langur groups on average 2.6 hours a day to eat fruit and leaves the primates drop.

“Even associations as improbable as between fish and primates are documented: In South America, fruit-eating Piraputangas (Brycon microlepis) have been spotted following a group of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) up to 100 yards along a river to snap up fruit dropped by the monkeys.

” ‘The geographical distribution of such associations is also significant,’ Eckhard Heymann says. Most of them are reported for the Neotropics, many for Asia and the African Continent, but none for Madagascar. ‘We have so far only documented associations for diurnal species, which in part accounts for the fact that in the madagascan species, often being nocturnal lemurs, no associations are known,’ Heymann adds.” More.

At Riozonas Acai, here, the focus is on the symbiotic relationship between certain monkeys and fish. The website hails the “ingenious fish species named piraputanga [that] can jump out the water to pick fruits off of trees that overhang the jungle rivers of Brazil. In one swift jump, it’s able to grab a handful. … This feat involves strength, agility and precision.

“The name comes from the indigenous language tupi-guarani, with two meanings, ‘fish that eats fruit’ as well as ‘reddish fish.’ Although they have a preference for fruits, their diet also consists of seeds, flowers, small fish, insects, arachnids and crustaceans. This fish lives in clear and crystalline waters, which makes it much easier to be caught. So here’s one interesting fact: if you notice crystal clear waters and little presence of piraputangas, it might be an indication that the place is not preserving the species as well as it should.

“For us humans, this fish is very well known — we could even say famous — for being hard-to-catch for those who enjoy fishing for sport. It battles and offers great resistance to be caught, and that is a great thrill for those into fishing. It is also known for providing tasty meat, being included in several recipes. It becomes slightly red when cooked, making people think tomato sauce was used during its preparation!”

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Today I went to the zoo. I was busy following my three grandchildren around and didn’t take many pictures. If you want to see great photographs of all the animals, go the website of the Franklin Park Zoo.

There were a lot of people at the zoo today, my fist visit. So many little kids everywhere! We weren’t there at the right time to help feed the giraffes, but I enjoyed seeing them. Here are couple giraffes with a zebra in the shared space — and a photo of a zoo employee dressed up as a giraffe. I also got a shot of my older grandson on the slide. There’s a big playground at the zoo.

Suzanne thought one of the primates looked a little morose, but the lemurs were very chipper — and the birds. Hard to tell if the snakes were chipper. The big cats were sleeping.

After the zoo, the kids, their parents, my husband, and I went to Sophia’s Grotto in Roslindale for lunch, where we sat outside under a tree. The two-year-old grandson took a nap in his carriage.


















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