Gorillas Go for Salty Wood

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Gorillas are enough like us that scientists have long been baffled by one thing that they eat. Scientists studying mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park noticed that decaying wood was a favorite snack. But wood has no obvious nutritional value. It turns out that rotting wood does. It provides sodium — nearly all the sodium that the gorillas need.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Gorillas are enough like us that scientists have long been baffled by one thing staple in the diet of some gorillas. Scientists studying the mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park noticed that decaying wood was a favorite snack. But wood has no obvious nutritional value. It turns out that rotting wood does. It provides sodium--nearly all the sodium that the gorillas need. So pass the salt--or, wood.

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