This article details a recent study of orangutans in Borneo, and the dietary implications of being dependent on ripening fruits. Sasquatches obviously utilize the bounty of ripening berries and other forest fruits in their diet, most of which are ripening right before the onset of winter, the toughest time for survival. Like bears, it makes sense that sasquatches would put on as much weight as possible during this time for the lean winter months ahead. But how do they deal with the lack of food throughout the winter?
Orangutans in Borneo will eat just about any fruit in the
forest. But during hard times when fruit is not
bountiful, they find other sources of protein: leaves,
bark and their own body-fat reserves and muscle.
CREDIT: © Tim Laman
Joseph Castro, Livescience Staff Writer
Orangutans in Borneo can survive potential starvation by using their body fat and muscles as energy until a bounty of food is available, researchers find, adding that the results may someday shed light on the eating habits of our earliest ancestors.
The findings may also speak to various low-carb, high-protein diets, because essentially weight comes down to caloric intake for these orangutans as it does us, the researchers say.
In Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia, forests go through periods of high fruit yield, where around 80 percent or more of the plants will produce fruit all at once. Following these “masting” periods, the forests endure stretches of sparse fruit availability that can last anywhere from two to eight years. To survive in this unpredictable environment, orangutans put on fat by gorging on fruits when they’re available, and then live off of these reserves until the next masting year.
Researchers have now learned that the orangutans start to metabolize their own muscles for protein after these fat reserves are gone.