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Gelada faecal samples were analyzed for nutritional content and for particle size, and compared with similar data for Papio baboons, cattle, and zebra. Particle size in gelada is similar to that for zebra, larger than that for cattle and smaller than that for baboons. Gelada and baboons are less efficient than ungulates at extracting protein from their diet. The data on energy extraction are less easy to interpret and appear to be confounded by dietary and seasonal factors. It is suggested that gelada may be too large to compete effectively with ruminants in low altitude grassland habitats under the climatic conditions that have prevailed in eastern Africa since the late Pleistocene. © 1991 Japan Monkey Centre.

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