Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Frank L'Engle Williams - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Aras Petrulis

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan McCombie


Papio ursinus are dietary generalists that exploit a diverse repertoire of food resources. This study explored the foraging strategies of a group of Papio ursinus and the foraging differences between subgroups classified by age and sex. Food resource preference, nutritional properties of food resources, and nutritional demands were examined to test the hypotheses that the foraging strategies exhibited by the subgroups would differ and that food selection is driven by nutritional demands. Adult females and juveniles were found to seek out food resources higher in proteins, while adult males were found to prefer food resources higher in carbohydrates. The findings support the alternative hypotheses and suggest that nutritional pressures are the best predictor of foraging optimization. A pilot study, involving the observation of a provisioned group of Macaca mulatta, that proved elemental to the formulation of the research design employed in the study of Papio ursinus, is also described.


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Anthropology Commons