Jump directly to main navigation Jump directly to content Jump to sub navigation

Unexpected nut eating by gorillas

A long-term study of western gorillas in Gabon has revealed an unexpected behaviour – they use their teeth to crack open and eat nuts

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Washington University in St. Louis have observed a population of western lowland gorillas in Loango National Park, Gabon using their teeth to crack open the woody shells of Coula edulis nuts. The researchers combined direct feeding observations and mechanical tests of seed casings to show that gorillas may be taxing their teeth to their upper limits, year after year, to access this energy rich food source.

© Adam van Casteren, Loango Gorilla Project, PanAF