Stomach fermentation in East African Colobus monkeys in their natural state
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The microbial fermentation in the stomachs of two monkeys, Colobus polykomos, collected in Kenya, was studied. The gas accumulated within the stomach contained H(2) but no CH(4). Volatile fatty acid concentrations were high, but accumulated acid prevented determination of the fermentation rate in untreated, incubated stomach contents. Upon addition of bicarbonate, a very rapid rate could be demonstrated. Some D- and L-lactate were in the stomach contents. Starchy seeds or fruits rather than leaves appeared to have been consumed. Microscopically, the most prominent microorganisms seen were large, very refringent cocci, possibly Sarcina ventriculi, and various smaller cocci and rods. The 28 cultured strains of bacteria included 14 Staphylococcus, 2 Streptococcus, 10 Propionibacterium, and 2 Peptostreptococcus. The culture count constituted 10 to 20% of the direct count. No protozoa or cellulolytic bacteria were found.