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Food material properties and jaw loading in wild lemurs

Our current project examines how the jaw is loaded during feeding in two lemur species, Verreaux’s sifaka and ring-tailed lemurs, in southwestern Madagascar. The primary objective is to identify the relevant variables that contribute to jaw loading, and, ultimately structural adaptation, and when these effects are felt, either during food preparation or chewing. Our approach involves focal animal observations, collecting food plants and testing their food material properties (FMPs), and quantifying biting and chewing from dietary videos.