Total

new/young tree leaf species, and these items collectively made up ~41% of its total feeding time, a further indication of Indris strong preference for immature foliage (Table 2). However, it should be noted that the eleventh most preferred food item was HHematodendronglabrum (Myristicaceae) fruit (Powzyk, 1997).

Nutritional analysis of Indri indri's top ten foods found them to be significantly lower in fats and water-soluble carbohydrates (sugars) than the top ten food items for the sympatric Propithecus diadema (Powzyk, 1997; Powzyk and Mo wry, 2003). P. diadema's top ten food items were an assortment of flowers, fruit seeds, whole fruits, and immature leaves (Powzyk, 1997), so the nutritional differences between the two indriids' diets were not surprising. Protein (crude, bound, available) levels were slightly higher for P. diadema's preferred foods, although not significantly (Powzyk and Mowry, 2003). Both Indri and P. diadema ate high-fiber diets, especially when compared to less folivorous primates. For example, Indri's preferred foods at Mantadia had a mean neutral detergent fiber (NDF) value of 56% dry weight compared to 31-34% for foods eaten by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi), blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni), red-tailed monkeys (C. ascanius schmidti), and mangabeys (Lophocebusalbigena johnstoni) in Kibale National Park, Uganda (Conklin-Brittain et al., 1998; Powzyk and Mowry, 2003).

Fiber (NDF and ADF) values in Mantadia Indri indri foods are similar to those reported for other indriid diets (Ganzhorn, 1988; Ganzhorn and Abraham, 1991). These values likely reflect the anatomical specializations of the indriid midgut and their inclusion with colobines as morphological folivores (Milton, 1980). In fact, ADF values for foods consumed by Indri and P. diadema at Mantadia are comparable to foods eaten by colobines (Waterman and Kool, 1994). Table 3 shows the nutrient composition of Indri's preferred foods at Mantadia.

Tests for secondary compounds were conducted on the same subset of preferred Indri indri foods from Mantadia, as well as an additional 37 plant samples.

Table 3. Nutrient composition of top ten most frequently consumed food items by Indri indri at Mantadia National Park

Rank Genus/species

Item

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