Jessica M Rothman

Jessica M Rothman
City University of New York - Hunter College | Hunter CUNY · Department of Anthropology

About

170
Publications
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4,452
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Publications

Publications (170)
Article
Full-text available
The role of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) in shaping the feeding decisions, habitat suitability, and reproductive success of herbivorous mammals has been a major theme in ecology for decades. Although primatologists were among the first to test these ideas, studies of PSMs in the feeding ecology of non-human primates have lagged in recent year...
Article
Full-text available
Flies are implicated in carrying and mechanically transmitting many primate pathogens. We investigated how fly associations vary across six monkey species (Cercopithecus ascanius, Cercopithecus mitis, Colobus guereza, Lophocebus albigena, Papio anubis, and Piliocolobus tephrosceles) and whether monkey group size impacts fly densities. Fly densities...
Article
Full-text available
The gut microbiome of primates is known to be influenced by both host genetic background and subsistence strategy. However, these inferences have been made mainly based on adaptations in bacterial composition-the bacteriome and have commonly overlooked the fungal fraction-the mycobiome. To further understand the factors that shape the gut mycobiome...
Article
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Background: Understanding how and why people interact with animals is important for the prevention and control of zoonoses. To date, studies have primarily focused on the most visible forms of human-animal contact (e.g., hunting and consumption), thereby blinding One Health researchers and practitioners to the broader range of human-animal interac...
Article
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Flowers are ubiquitous in primate environments, yet their nutritional advantages are underexamined. Symphonia globulifera is a widely distributed tree exploited by a variety of animals in Africa and the Americas. We collected S. globulifera flower samples consumed by red-tailed monkeys ( Cercopithecus ascanius ) and compared them nutritionally to f...
Article
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Caring for infants involves lactation, protection, provisioning, and carrying—all energetically taxing states for primate mothers. Holding and carrying clinging infants often constrains mothers from moving and traveling, potentially reducing their food and energy intake; however, when separated from its mother an infant is at risk of predation. Thi...
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A conundrum of wildlife tourism is balancing wildlife conservation and tourist satisfaction. Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei) are a flagship species for biodiversity and there is worldwide interest in gorilla trekking safaris. This tourism provides substantial revenue to the government and local communities for gorilla protection, but puts them...
Article
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Intrinsic to several hypotheses explaining the evolution of foraging behavior complexity, such as proto-tool use, is the assumption that more complex ingestive behaviors are adaptations allowing individuals to access difficult to procure but nutritionally or energetically rewarding foods. However, nutritional approaches to understanding this comple...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Understanding how and why people interact with animals is important for prevention and control of zoonoses. To date, studies have primarily focused on the most visible forms of human-animal contact (e.g., hunting and consumption), thereby blinding One Health researchers and practitioners to the broad range of human-animal interactions t...
Article
Primate foraging is influenced by the spatial and temporal distribution of foods, which may facilitate or constrain optimal nutrient intakes. Chimpanzees are frugivorous primates that mainly subsist on ripe fruit that is typically low in available protein (AP) and high in easily digestible carbohydrates. Because chimpanzees prefer ripe fruit and of...
Article
Infant handling (holding or carrying) by adult males is rare in mammals; however, high levels have been reported in some primates. Though infant handling is a costly behaviour, there are many benefits that male handlers can accrue. Infant handling by males is most conspicuous in platyrrhines and tends to be uncommon in catarrhines. In the latter sp...
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Dietary protein is often considered a factor that limits the growth of primate populations. The ratio of crude protein (CP) to fiber in common mature leaves in a forest reliably predicts colobine biomass across Africa and Asia. This relationship is puzzling because CP of mature leaves is notably high in some forests, including Kibale National Park,...
Article
To sustain life, humans and other terrestrial animals must maintain a tight balance of water gain and water loss each day.1-3 However, the evolution of human water balance physiology is poorly understood due to the absence of comparative measures from other hominoids. While humans drink daily to maintain water balance, rainforest-living great apes...
Article
Animals make dietary choices to achieve adequate nutrient intake; however, it is challenging to study such nutritional strategies in wild populations. We explored the nutritional strategy of a generalist social primate, the blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis). We hypothesized that females balance intake of nutrients, specifically non-protein energy a...
Article
Respiratory illnesses, including COVID‐19, present a serious threat to endangered wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) populations. In some parts of sub‐Saharan Africa, chimpanzee tracking is a popular tourism activity, offering visitors a chance to view apes in their natural habitats. Chimpanzee tourism is an important source of revenue and thus bene...
Article
Apposite conceptualization and measurement of resource variation is critical for understanding many issues in ecology, including ecological niches, persistence and distribution of populations, the structure of communities, and population resilience to perturbations. We apply the nutritional geometry framework to conceptualise and quantify the respo...
Article
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park situated southwest of Uganda is a biodiversity hotspot that is home to about half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei). Given its ecological significance and mounting pressures from agricultural activities such as tea growing, continuous monitoring of the levels of chemical toxins like pest...
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Studies of feeding patch choice in primates have traditionally analyzed individual foraging decisions in relation to patterns of social foraging, dominance, and feeding competition. However, information on detailed ecological and nutritional characteristics of the patches also is needed to understand the basis of feeding patch preferences. In parti...
Article
The habitats of wild primates are increasingly threatened by surrounding anthropogenic pressures, but little is known about primate exposure to frequently used chemicals. We applied a novel method to simultaneously measure 21 legacy pesticides (OCPs), 29 current use pesticides (CUPs), 47 halogenated flame retardants (HFRs), and 19 organophosphate f...
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For many animal species, immatures are less efficient foragers than their adult counterparts and must use multiple strategies to fulfill their nutritional needs through effective learning of social and feeding behaviour. To overcome these challenges, young animals are predicted to rely on adult relatives to gain foraging competency, partly because...
Article
Objectives: Sodium, a vital micronutrient that is often in scarce supply for tropical herbivores, is sometimes found at high concentration in decaying wood. We tested two hypotheses for chimpanzees: first, that wood-eating facilitates acquisition of sodium; second, that wood-eating occurs in response to the low availability of sodium from other di...
Article
Hunting and consumption of wild animals, colloquially known as “bushmeat,” is associated with health trade-offs. Contact with wildlife increases exposure to wildlife-origin zoonotic diseases yet bushmeat is an important nutritional resource in many rural communities. In this study, we test the hypothesis that bushmeat improves food security in comm...
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A growing body of evidence demonstrates the importance of forests and wild animal-based foods for diets within tropical environments. However, deforestation and associated land-use changes can have competing effects on nutrition and food security as communities reorient from wild food use and subsistence-based agriculture to import/export markets....
Article
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The gut microbiome of primates, including humans, is reported to closely follow host evolutionary history, with gut microbiome composition being specific to the genetic background of its primate host. However, the comparative models used to date have mainly included a limited set of closely related primates. To further understand the forces that sh...
Article
Generalist primates eat many food types and shift their diet with changes in food availability. Variation in foods eaten may not, however, match variation in nutrient intake. We examined dietary variation in a generalist‐feeder, the blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis ), to see how dietary food intake related to variation in available food and nutrien...
Article
Daily energy intake of adult female mammals is influenced by environmental conditions and physiological requirements, including reproduction. We examined the effects of fruit availability on macronutrient and metabolisable energy intake by adult female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of the Kanyawara community in Kibale National Park,...
Article
An important goal in foraging ecology is to determine how biotic and abiotic variables impact the foraging decisions of wild animals and how they move throughout their multidimensional landscape. However, the interaction of food quality and feeding competition on foraging decisions is largely unknown. Here we examine the importance of food quality...
Article
The significance of aquatic food resources for hominins is poorly understood, despite evidence of consumption as early as 1.95 million years ago (Ma). Here we present the first evidence of a non-human ape habitually catching and consuming aquatic crabs. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the rainforest of the Nimba Mountains (Guinea) consumed f...
Chapter
Primate Research and Conservation in the Anthropocene - edited by Alison M. Behie January 2019
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Cambridge Core - Ecology and Conservation - Primate Research and Conservation in the Anthropocene - edited by Alison M. Behie
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Limited data are available on the relationship between seasonal diets and macronutrient and energy intake of domestic Asian elephants. The effects of age, sex and season on the nutrient composition and intake of food were investigated using 16 domesticated Asian elephants of different ages and sexes. There were no significant seasonal differences i...
Article
Few topics in the primate literature have received more attention than the topic of primate diets. Primates have been shown to consume a wide diversity of foods and primate diets can vary tremendously between seasons and habitats. Food can be considered a selective force, influencing key aspects of primate behavior, ecology, and morphology in relat...
Article
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This study measured the nutritional composition of foods consumed by the northern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus annamensis) in northeastern Cambodia. One group of N. annamensis was studied, and focal animal sampling was used to observe their feeding behavior. The study was conducted for 4 months (January-April 2015) in the dry season and...
Article
en Anthropogenic influences have dramatically altered the environments with which primates interact. In particular, the introduction of anthropogenic food sources to primate groups has implications for feeding behaviour, social behaviour, activity budgets, demography and life history. While the incorporation of anthropogenic foods can be beneficial...
Article
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Female copulation calls are species specific, distinct vocal signals sometimes given during or shortly after mating. Despite being common in primates and despite much empirical work, their function remains largely unclear for most species. Here, we used an information-theoretic approach to examine simultaneously three main competing hypotheses for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The amounts and balance of nutrients consumed, as well as rules of nutrient compromise, are important factors determining health, longevity, and reproductive success. Baboons (Papio) provide an excellent opportunity to study these factors within the context of a generalist-omnivorous foraging strategy. While the ecology of savanna-living baboons is...
Chapter
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Platyrrhines are characterized by a broad diversity of behavioral and morphological adaptations that facilitate the exploitation of diverse plant and animal resources. Whereas feeding ecology has long been a major topic of primate field studies and focused on time spent feeding to describe primate diets, the recent past has witnessed a growing inte...
Article
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Foraging strategies are central in shaping social structure and grouping patterns in primates. We address Colobus guereza foraging strategies by investigating their patch departure decisions in relation to diet composition and nutrition. We examine whether guerezas are constrained in their intake of food in patches and thereby forage according to a...
Article
Objectives: We evaluated risk-sensitive foraging in adult male western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) occupying a savanna environment at Fongoli, Senegal. The aim of this study was to determine how the risks of predation and heat stress influenced their behavior while feeding on a key food, fruit of the baobab tree (Adansonia digitata). Mate...
Article
Minerals, though needed in small quantities, are essential to metabolic processes, and deficiencies can seriously threaten health, reproduction and survival. Despite this, few studies have measured mineral composition of wild primate foods and fewer have quantified mineral intake. Here we measured the concentration of nine minerals in 75 foods of d...
Chapter
The dramatic increase in all things food in popular and academic fields during the last two decades has generated a diverse and dynamic set of approaches for understanding the complex relationships and interactions that determine how people eat and how diet affects culture. These volumes offer a comprehensive reference for students and established...
Article
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One of the main costs of group living is feeding competition. Fission–fusion dynamics are thought to be a strategy to avoid overt competition for food resources. We tested whether food abundance and quality affected such dynamics in a species characterized by a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics. We collected data on 22 adult and subadult spide...
Article
Two methods are commonly used to describe the feeding behavior of wild primates, one based on the proportion of time animals spent feeding on specific plant parts ("time-based" estimates) and one based on estimates of the actual amounts of different plant materials ingested ('"weight-based" estimates). However, studies based on feeding time may not...
Article
Research highlights: The spatial and temporal variation in food abundance has strong effects on wildlife feeding and nutrition. Here we present the first long term study of the effects of variation in fruit availability and age/sex class on nutritional ecology of wild Bornean orangutans. We examined variation in nutrient intake of wild orangutans...
Article
Full-text available
Fluctuations in food availability are a major challenge faced by primates living in seasonal climates. Variation in food availability can be especially challenging for females, because of the high energetic costs of reproduction. Therefore, females must adapt the particular demands of the different reproductive stages to the seasonal availability o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Tropical deforestation is occurring at a rapid rate and while many studies focus on primate adaptations to forest fragment, few studies investigate the impacts of highly degraded areas, where primates cohabit with humans. Here, we investigate how vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) survive and prosper in an extensively modified humanized lands...
Preprint
Full-text available
Different food items can provide calories at different rates, yet nutritional studies of primates are generally based on the proportion of time spent eating different foods. Accordingly, estimates of energy intake are potentially wrong. To assess the importance of this problem we observed 15 female chimpanzees from the Kanyawara chimpanzee communit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Different food items can provide calories at different rates, yet nutritional studies of primates are generally based on the proportion of time spent eating different foods. Accordingly, estimates of energy intake are potentially wrong. To assess the importance of this problem we observed 15 female chimpanzees from the Kanyawara chimpanzee communit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Different food items can provide calories at different rates, yet nutritional studies of primates are generally based on the proportion of time spent eating different foods. Accordingly, estimates of energy intake are potentially wrong. To assess the importance of this problem we observed 15 female chimpanzees from the Kanyawara chimpanzee communit...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Small-bodied folivores are rare because processing leaves often requires extensive gut adaptations and lengthy retention times for fiber fermentation. However, the <1 kg nocturnal white-footed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur leucopus) persist on a leaf-based diet. We investigated how extrinsic (i.e., seasonality in temperature and food avai...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the nutritional basis of food selection is fundamental to evaluate dietary patterns and foraging strategies in primates. This research describes the phytochemical composition of the foods consumed by two groups of Mexican black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) during a 15-month field study, and examines how plant nutritional chemistry...
Article
Full-text available
Eating is a risky affair. All animals have to offset risks of feeding such as exposure to plant toxins, increased vulnerability to predation, or conspecific aggression with a food's energetic and nutritional return. What, when, and where an individual eats can impact fitness and, ultimately, species-level adaptations. Here, we explore the variables...
Article
Stable isotope analysis is a promising tool for investigating primate ecology although nuanced ecological applications remain challenging, in part due to the complex nature of isotopic variability in plant-animal systems. The aim of this study is to investigate sources of carbon and nitrogen isotopic variation at the base of primate food webs that...
Conference Paper
The emergence of our genus has been often interpreted as a convergence of different anatomical, physiological and social changes that have been widely attributed to eating more meat. The timing and significance of this critical dietary adaptation and earliest hominin strategies of meat procurement have been the object of a vigorous debate (Domingue...
Conference Paper
Paleodietary research is becoming an increasingly important and socially relevant topic thanks to a renovated focus of evolutionary medicine on a “healthy primitive nutrition”. Most authors agree that meat eating was one of the main factors to have triggered the emergence of physiological and behavioural traits defined as the “human package”. Yet,...
Article
Full-text available
Although the critical role that our gastrointestinal microbes play in host physiology is now well established, we know little about the factors that influenced the evolution of primate gut microbiomes. To further understand current gut microbiome configurations and diet-microbe co-metabolic fingerprints in primates, from an evolutionary perspective...