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Eating leaves to control reproduction: chimpanzees


Pan troglodytes / Böhringer f.. / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Chimpanzees may induce abortions by eating leaves from certain Ziziphus and Combretum plant species.

"Dr. Joan Garey from New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine has also observed these chimps eating leaves from certain Ziziphus (jujub) and Combretum species, which are used by the local women to induce abortions. Consequently, in a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Primatologists in 1997, Garey speculated that the chimps may use these plants deliberately for the same purpose, as a means of reducing the size of the local chimp population if it has become too large." (Shuker 2001:214)
About the inspiring organism
Med_800pxschimpanse_pan_troglodytes_3 chimpanzee
Pan troglodytes (Blumenbach, 1775)

Habitat(s): Forest
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_EN IUCN Red List Status: Endangered

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Safer contraceptives.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Medical

Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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