Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)
Virunga Volcanoes - Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
Gasindikira from Group 13 in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda stuffs a wad of (Carduus Nyassanus) in his mouth. Commonly eaten species such as gallium, nettles or thistles have natural defense mechanisms such as barbs and stinging needles. These natural defenses must be overcome before they can be consumed. Given that these plants can comprise a high percentage of a gorillas’ diet, a repeatable method of processing them for consumption is necessary. How these skills are acquired is the real question. Research shows that the infants learn these complex manual processing skills primarily through observation and practice.
- © 2002 Gene G. Eckhart
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- Mountain Gorillas