Plundering the birds’ pantry

The evolutionary history of primate diets is a story about the plundering of the “birds’ pantry.”

Before the emergence of primates, plants and birds co-evolved with each other in the rainforest. Plants evolved highly nutritious fruits to enable them to carry seeds. Early primates were small, nocturnal insectivores, which hid from predators and avoided food competition with birds.

Thereafter, primates enlarged their bodies and developed effective arboreal locomotion. Exceeding the body size of birds, monkeys began to take over the daytime fruit tree food niche from the birds.

■References (Books, papers, Web articles, etc.)
サルはなにを食べてヒトになったか―食の進化論』  山極寿一 (女子栄養大学出版部、1994)
人類進化論——霊長類学からの展開』 第2章・第3節 熱帯雨林における霊長類の進化  山極寿一 (裳華房、2008)

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The References list of “Evolution of Human Sociality”