Gorillas Get Sodium From Tree Bark

I remember my Primate Evolution class and the mention that Gorillas chew bark and spit it out. The hypothesis, according to my professor, was (if I remember correctly) possibly they do this for some nutrient they cannot get elsewhere.

As it turns out, new research has shown that decayed wood provides over 95% of the gorilla’s dietary sodium.

Sodium is important for the healthy functioning of living organisms, and is involved in muscle contractions, regulating blood pressure and maintaining water and acid-base balance, among other things.

Read more in this Livescience article.

About Carl Feagans 313 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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