FAU: Study Documents African Monkeys Eating Bats

FAU: Study Documents African Monkeys Eating Bats

FAU: Study Documents African Monkeys Eating Bats

Although Cercopithecus monkeys, a widely distributed genus in Africa, usually have a discerning palate for fruits and leaves, they are opportunistic omnivores that sometimes consume lizards, snakes, birds and mice. These forest-dwelling primates share habitat and food resources with bats, which are known reservoirs for zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, Marburg and Henipa viruses as well as bacteria and parasites that can be spread between animals and humans. This has led researchers to hypothesize that primate consumption of fruits contaminated with an infected bat’s saliva or feces facilitates zoonotic disease transmission. Scientists estimate that more than six out of every 10 infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals.

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