Baboon. (Photo: Dick Mudde)
Robert M. Sapolsky is Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at Stanford University. For over a decade, he has been spending his summers in the Masai Mara National Reserve in the Serengeti Plain of Kenia, studying the relationships between social behavior and dominance rank in wild baboons, the amount of social stress they experience, and how their bodies react to stress.
According to Robert Sapolsky, “an average baboon in the Serengeti spends 30 to 40 percent of each day foraging – climbing trees to reach fruit and leaves, digging laboriously in the ground to unearth tubers, walking five or ten miles to reach sources of food. Their diet is spartan: figs and olives, grass and sedge parts, corms, tubers and seedpods. It’s unusual for them to hunt or scavenge, and meat accounts for less than 1 percent of the food they consume. So the typical baboon diet teems with fiber and is very low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol.”
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