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a Combined top five food families for three separate study groups.

a Combined top five food families for three separate study groups.

abundant, Varecia supplemented their diets with the nontree food C. hirta and/or sometimes with Pandanus spp. Likewise, Varecia may have reduced their daily range by feeding on these shrub food sources. Moreover, during this study, Kolara-F was seen in the same Ficus rubra tree the entire day for 10 successive days, and Boloa-F was found in an unidentified fruit tree for 8 days. It is also the case that a single Ravenala madagascariensis tree was visited four to five times in 1 day by Boloa-F.

In this study, I did not have clear evidence as to whether Varecia at Manombo fed before dusk, or outside of daytime observation periods in general. It is possible that they did, as they were sometimes heard calling in warm seasons while it was still very dark in the early morning hours, but nocturnal vocalizations alone do not confirm nocturnal activity. No systematic nocturnal studies of ruffed lemurs in the wild have been conducted. On only two occasions did I see Varecia continuing to feed after dark (at 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm). Morland (1991a) also made limited observations of nocturnal activity in ruffed lemurs. She described seeing one female feeding and another feeding and moving. If Varecia does exhibit significant nocturnal activity, it will be interesting to investigate how such behavior may correlate with other ecological factors (e.g, food availability, food competition, or predation).

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