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Monkeys Snub Protein to Keep Warm in Winter

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Credit: David Raubenheimer

University of Sydney researchers have found that golden snub-nosed monkeys living in cold, snowy habitats adjust their nutrient intake to match the elevated costs of thermo­regulation, with fats and carbohydrates taking precedence over proteins.

The study, published in Functional Ecology (https://goo.gl/Hx3DTj), was conducted in China’s Quinling mountains, where winter temperatures commonly drop below 0°C and approximately 50 cm of snow covers the ground for several weeks in the winter.

The researchers analysed the foods that monkeys consumed in order to calculate the nutrient composition of their diets, and then assessed the additional energy the monkeys used to regulate their temperature in winter compared with spring.

“To better understand the adaptations that enable these monkeys...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.