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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Extant non-human primates are our closest living relatives and knowledge of their diets serves as a focus for hypotheses about past diets. We now know that the diets of extant primates vary from almost total folivory to considerable faunivory. Subsistence strategies of extant primates and stable isotope ratio data constrain dietary scenarios for fossil primates, including hominins. Among extant primates, significant faunivory occurs only in species of <1 kg body weight. Among those >1 kg body weight, smaller primates feed on fruit or fruit with insects, and larger ones on fruit and foliage, including leaves, pith, stems, flowers, and bark. Fossil hominins fall into the size range for fruit and foliage-eating.

Keywords: stable isotopes, adaptation, subsistence strategies, body size, digestion

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