- The proboscis monkey is the first known primate to regularly regurgitate and rechew its food.
- Researchers suspect the behavior permits greater food consumption.
- It's possible that the behavior is a learned tradition, limited to one population of proboscis monkeys.
The proboscis monkey, nicknamed the "long-nosed monkey" due to its huge, protruding nose, now has another claim to fame: it regularly regurgitates and rechews its food.
The proboscis monkey demonstrates the first naturally occurring, ongoing instances of this behavior in a primate, conclude the authors of the paper, published in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters.
Gorillas and humans will also sometimes upchuck, rechew, and swallow, but if done on even a semi-regular basis, the actions are considered to be pathological.
"The digestive tract of the proboscis monkey is drastically different from that of humans and great apes," lead author Ikki Matsuda told Discovery News. "The proboscis monkey has a distinct sacculated (chambered) forestomach where bacterial digestion occurs prior to the glandular stomach."