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黑猩猩像人类一样通过食疗保健身体

2011/12/02 来源:搜狐科学
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黑猩猩每天会消耗大量的食物,科学家一项最新研究表明这些食物并非完全出于营养摄入,黑猩猩还懂得食物治疗。

最新研究显示,黑猩猩像人类一样能够通过食物进行自我治疗

黑猩猩每天会消耗大量的食物,科学家一项最新研究表明这些食物并非完全出于营养摄入,黑猩猩还懂得食物治疗。

这项研究发表在《生理学&行为学》期刊上,表明药学治疗的起源将追溯至更早,且超越人类群体。研究负责人雪莱-马西和她的研究同事指出,我们猜测自我治疗可能存在于人类祖先,当时存在较高的社会差异性,并且缺乏特殊的素食肠胃系统。

马西是巴黎国家历史博物馆研究员,她和同事们对乌干达吉贝利国家公园40多只野生黑猩猩群体的消耗食物进行了观测记录,还对所进食食物的实用性进行了分析记载,以及进食时黑猩猩之间的社交干涉性。此外,他们还对中非Dzanga-Ndoki国家公园十多只野生西部大猩猩进行了相同的观测记录。

黑猩猩不同寻常的食物消耗,意味着食物并不是完全与营养需求有关,相比之下,黑猩猩的食物摄入量是大猩猩的两倍。大猩猩拥有更多特殊的肠胃系统,能够更好地消化解毒体内有害成份,从而使它们比黑猩猩和人类需要很少的自我治疗药物。

黑猩猩和人类都非常擅长进行彼此之间的社交和学习,其中包括如何进食。马西说:“年龄较大和成功个体被认为是学习的最佳模型。”他们通过分析发现黑猩猩所食的多数非营养食物和轻微有毒食物都具有一定的药用价值。基于这项研究,黑猩猩的的“药箱”包括:箭毒树叶(抗肿瘤)、破布木芯(抗疟疾和抗病菌)、无花果(抗病毒)、无花果树皮(抗腹泻)、无花果树皮(去蠕虫药剂)等。

它们看上去好像有意地寻找发现具有药用价值的植物,甚至在营养美味食物触手可及的情况下也会消耗一些药用植物。虽然黑猩猩和人类是世界上最擅长自我治疗的物种,但另一项发表在《小型反刍动物研究》期刊上的最新研究记录了野生和家养食草动物也懂得食用一些药用植物。

美国犹他州大学荒地资源系的胡安-比利亚尔瓦和研究同事以色列沃尔卡尼研究中心的西格-兰劳解释称,山羊有时会细嚼一些抗寄生虫植物,从而将一些肠虫夹杂在粪便中排出体外。

爱荷华州大学研究员史黛西·林德谢尔德也在野生蜘蛛猿体内发现食用药用植物的残渣,他说:“我们观察发现蜘蛛猿懂得用身体摩擦一些药用植物,并将它们细细咀嚼。一些灵长目动物会以药用价值来选择食物,除了自我治疗作用之外,有强烈气味的药用植物还能提高它们的嗅觉能力。


Unusual feeding behavior in wild great apes, a window to understand origins of self-medication in humans: Role of sociality and physiology on learning process

Shelly Masi, Erik Gustafsson, Michel Saint Jalme, Victor Narat, Angelique Todd, Marie-Claude Bomsel, Sabrina Krief

Certain toxic plants are beneficial for health if small amounts are ingested infrequently and in a specific context of illness. Among our closest living relatives, chimpanzees are found to consume plants with pharmacological properties. Providing insight on the origins of human self-medication, this study investigates the role social systems and physiology (namely gut specialization) play on learning mechanisms involved in the consumption of unusual and potentially bioactive foods by two great ape species. We collected data from a community of 41–44 wild chimpanzees in Uganda (11 months, 2008), and a group of 11–13 wild western gorillas in Central African Republic (10 months, 2008–2009). During feeding, we recorded food consumed, its availability, and social interactions (including observers watching conspecifics and the observers' subsequent activity). Unusual food consumption in chimpanzees was twice higher than in gorillas. Additionally chimpanzees relied more on social information with vertical knowledge transmission on unusual foods by continually acquiring information during their life through mostly observing the fittest (pre-senescent) adults. In contrast, in gorillas observational learning primarily occurred between related immatures, showing instead the importance of horizontal knowledge transmission. As chimpanzees' guts are physiologically less specialized than gorillas (more capable of detoxifying harmful compounds), unusual-food consumption may be more risky for chimpanzees and linked to reasons other than nutrition (like self-medication). Our results show that differences in sociality and physiology between the two species may influence mechanisms that discriminate between plants for nutrition and plants with potential therapeutic dietary components. We conclude that self-medication may have appeared in our ancestors in association with high social tolerance and lack of herbivorous gut specialization.

文献链接:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938411003970

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