1 Tahrcountry Musings: Chimps’ Ways Of Warding Off Malaria

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chimps’ Ways Of Warding Off Malaria

The journal Naturwissenschaften has come out with some amazing facts about behaviour of chimps. The researchers at Kibale National Park in Uganda have discovered that geophagy(Soil ingestion) is helping chimps to ward off malaria by bestowing ingested plants with anti-malarial properties. Digested leaves of Trichilia rubescens showed no significant anti-malarial activity when eaten alone. When the leaves and soil were digested together, the combination acquired anti-malarial properties.

Full details can be accessed at

Krief S, Klein N & Fröhlich F (2008). Geophagy: soil consumption enhances the bioactivities of plants eaten by chimpanzees. Naturwissenschaften (DOI 10.1007/s00114-007-0333-0)

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