Climate changes may be forcing bamboo lemurs – one of the most endangered primate species on Earth – to change their dietary habits, causing them to slowly starve, an international study warns.
The study, published in the journal Current Biology, analysed the anatomic, behavioural and paleontological data of lemurs along with climate data. Lemurs almost exclusively eat a single species of bamboo, including the woody trunk, known as culm. However, they prefer the more nutritious and tender bamboo shoots and use their specialised teeth to gnaw on culm only when necessary, during the dry season. Researchers suggest that as Earth’s climate changes, bamboo lemurs will gradually be forced to eat culm for longer periods and this could slowly starve them.