Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Energy-minimizing Foraging Strategy

Technique by which the animal conserves energy; such animals (known as energy minimizers) subsist on low-quality diets, which force this foraging strategy on them. An example of an energy minimizer is the howler monkey, which consumes low-calorie leaves and conserves energy by spending most of its time resting. It lives in small territories, and delineates these territories by sound (requiring little energy expenditure compared with physically patrolling the boundaries).

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