MACAQUES FEEDING ON UNRIPE BANANAS

posted in: Fauna, Mammals, Videography | 3

“While exploring forest edge on the 23rd November 2014, I spotted a mature male Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) perched comfortably atop a banana plant. To my surprise, it was expressing interest in the combs of green and clearly unripe fruit. With considerable effort, he wrenched and wrestled to break away the bananas and began peeling away the stubborn skin with his teeth (above).

“The thick green skin was systematically removed to reveal the stiff, starchy and sticky flesh underneath. With a hint of hesitation but hunger in his eyes, the macaque consumed the presumably unpalatable plantain without much complaint.

“After this alpha male had his fill, his ‘throne’ was soon replaced by a female, which had been waiting patiently in the shadows. Similarly, she struggled to pluck each banana and strip away the tough exterior (above).

“A video clip of how the male demolishes an unripe banana may be previewed here:

“The resourcefulness of this species is certainly a key contributing factor to its successful survival in Singapore and the region.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
25th July 2015

3 Responses

  1. Sun Chong Hong

    Interesting! It looks like they would take on any fruits, ripe or unripe. Here is a video, recorded in Lower Peirce Reservoir on 9 May 2014, showing a troop of adults and youngs taking unripe mangoes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI3jlAzVN7c

  2. Leong Tzi Ming

    Excellent, thanks for the link to their feeding of the unripe mangoes.
    Must be quite crunchy and sour, either very appetising and/or helping with their digestion!

    • Sun Chong Hong

      Check out the other related post if you have not read it before.

      Long-tailed Macaque Feeding On Batoko Plum And Mating.

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