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Vol. 64, No. 1-2, 1995
Issue release date: 1995
Folia Primatol 1995;64:30–36
Reviewed Article

Significance of Silica in Leaves to Long-Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

Lucas P.W.a · Teaford M.F.b
aDepartment of Anatomy, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; bDepartment of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., USA


Leaves of two plant species eaten by Macaca fascicularis in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, were collected and colour-tested. Leaves matching those eaten by M. fascicularis were examined by energy-dispersive X-ray micro-analysis. The leaves of Streblus elongatus (Moraceae) and Gluta wallichii (Anacardiaceae), together forming 19.6% of the leaf diet of the macaques, contained silica. In G. wallichii, this is in the base of hairs that project from the underside of the leaf, whereas S. elongatus leaves have short sharp siliceous trichomes which are densely packed on the undersurface of leaf veins. We predict from an indentation analysis that chewing on the latter species could cause dental microwear at low occlusal forces. The leaves are reportedly common in the diet of three other primate species in peninsular Malaysia and the finding could have general significance for studies of dental wear.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Peter W Lucas, Department of Anatomy, University of Hong Kong, Li Shu Fan Building, 5 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: July 19, 1994
Accepted: April 25, 1995
Published online: September 16, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 7

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Folia Primatologica (International Journal of PrimatologyInternationale Zeitschrift für PrimatologieJournal international de Primatologie)

Vol. 64, No. 1-2, Year 1995 (Cover Date: 1995)

Journal Editor: Crompton R.H. (Liverpool)
ISSN: 0015–5713 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9980 (Online)

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