Macroscopic Inspection of Ape Feces: Quantification How?

A look at how to take a gross look at the output of apes:

Macroscopic inspection of ape feces: What’s in a quantification method?Caroline A. Phillips and William C. McGrew, American Journal of Primatology, epub 2014 Jan 30. (Thanks to investigator Gwinyai Masukume for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and University of Cambridge, UK, report:

“Macroscopic inspection of feces has been used to investigate primate diet. The limitations of this method to identify food-items to species level have long been recognized, but ascertaining aspects of diet (e.g., folivory) are achievable by quantifying food-items in feces…. We analyzed feces collected from ten adult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of the Kanyawara community in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We compare dietary composition totals obtained from using different quantification methods and ascertain if sieve mesh size influences totals calculated. Finally, this study validates findings from direct observation of feeding by the same individuals from whom the fecal samples had been collected. Contrasting diet composition totals obtained by using different quantification methods and sieve mesh sizes can influence folivory and frugivory estimates. However, our findings were based on the assumption that fibrous matter contained pith and leaf fragments only, which remains to be verified. We advocate macroscopic inspection of feces can be a valuable tool to provide a generalized overview of dietary composition for primate populations.”

BONUS: Video, from elsewhere, of Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii: