Feeding Ecology Plant Parts

Although sifakas have morphological specializations for folivory (e.g., long gastrointestinal tract, enlarged cecum) and long gastrointestinal transit time (Campbell et al., 2000, 2004), both western and eastern sifakas actually have a quite varied diet (only in the dry season does foliage truly dominate the diet). The diet of eastern sifakas includes high proportions of foliage, fruits, seeds, and buds/flowers (Table 2). P. edwardsi has the most equitable diet, with relatively equal amounts of foliage, fruits, and seeds. P. diadema at Mantadia and Tsinjoarivo are more folivorous, with 45-55% of feeding time devoted to leaves.

Table 1. Sifaka taxa found in Madagascar's eastern forests (from north to south)

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