William C. Mahaney

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Geophageous Rwandan mountain gorillas excavate and eat weathered leucite-rich regolith (subsoil C horizons) from the slopes of Mount Visoke in the Virunga Mountains. In the months of the dry season, the gorillas reportedly ingest a halloysitic natural earth having a chemical composition similar to that of Kaopectate, a pharmaceutical used by humans to treat(More)
Four soil samples from the Kibale Forest, Uganda, representative of material regularly ingested by chimpanzees, were studied for their mineral, chemical, and geochemical composition. These geophagy soils have a high content of metahalloysite, a partially hydrated clay mineral that may act much like the pharmaceutical Kaopectate™. Among the elements that may(More)
We previously reported on a study of 4 soils that chimpanzees of the Kanyawara community in the Kibale National Park, Uganda consumed on a near-daily basis. We suggested that iron was a possible chemical stimulus in association with high quantities of Si:Al = 1:1-dominated clay minerals in the consumed material. To test our initial findings, we analyzed 18(More)
Three groups of soils from two Japanese monkey parks at Arashiyama (Honshu) and Takasakiyama (Kyushu) were analyzed for their geochemistry and clay and primary mineral content. Two groups (Y and T) of soils are regularly eaten by Japanese macaques; a third group (N) is not eaten. Of the elements analyzed, soil group N (not eaten) is within the range of all(More)
Earth from a termite mound in the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania, eaten by chimpanzees, was analyzed to determine the possible stimulus, or stimuli, for geophagy. The termite mound sample contains relatively high aluminum (10.0%), iron (3.0%), and sodium (0.5%). This correlates well with the mineralogy of the clay (<2 µm) fraction, which is high(More)
Mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) occasionally eat material from weathered regolith (subsoil) sediments in the Virunga Mountains of northwestern Rwanda. The possible nutritional significance of this behaviour has been investigated by analyzing the geochemistry, primary mineral composition, and clay content of several regolith and surface soil(More)
Soil mining and eating (geophagy) behavior of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, is described and assessed with respect to the chemical, geochemical, and mineralogical composition of the ingested materials. The samples forming the uneaten (control) and eaten (matrix and blocky) groups of soils come from the top and flanks of a(More)
We gathered data on the amount, composition, and rate of ingestion of foods and soils by the provisioned Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata fuscata) at Arashiyama, Japan. Behavioral observations spanned one year on 8 adult females, using focal animal sampling. We analyzed a subsample of their foods for nutritional and toxic secondary compound content. We(More)
The sand fractions of weathered regolith (subsoil) sediments from the flanks of Visoke Volcano in the Virunga Mountains, mined, pulverized, and eaten by mountain gorillas, were analyzed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-despersive spectrometry (EDS) to determine the stimulus of geophagic behavior. The samples show a mix of weathered and(More)
Geophagy or soil ingestion is a multidisciplinary phenomenon that has attracted the attention of many researchers in recent years; who have sought to understand why a large number of animals consume natural earths. To find out why animals ingest soils, it is of paramount importance to establish standard methods to analyze comestible soil. Researchers have(More)