Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 14, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 14, 2767–2779, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-2767-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 14, 2767–2779, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-2767-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 07 Jun 2017

Research article | 07 Jun 2017

Geological nature of mineral licks and the reasons for geophagy among animals

Alexander M. Panichev1, Vladimir K. Popov2, Igor Yu. Chekryzhov2, Ivan V. Seryodkin1, Alexander A. Sergievich3, and Kirill S. Golokhvast1,3 Alexander M. Panichev et al.
  • 1Laboratory of animal ecology and protection, Pacific Geographical Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 690041, 7 Radio street, Vladivostok, Russia
  • 2Far Eastern Geological Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 690014, 159 100-letie Vladivostoku avenue, Vladivostok, Russia
  • 3Far Eastern Federal University, 690950, 8 Sukhanova street, Vladivostok, Russia

Abstract. In this paper, the reasons for geophagy (the eating of rocks by wild herbivores) in two regions of the eastern Sikhote-Alin volcanic belt are considered. The mineralogical and chemical features of the consumed rocks, as well as the geological conditions of their formation, are investigated. A comparative analysis of the mineral and chemical composition of the consumed rocks and the excrement of the animals, almost completely consisting of mineral substances, is carried out. It is established that the consumed rocks are hydrothermally altered rhyolitic tuffs located in the volcanic calderas and early Cenozoic volcano-tectonic depressions. They consist of 30–65 % from zeolites (mainly clinoptilolites) and smectites, possessing powerful sorption properties. According to the obtained data, the main reason for geophagy may be connected with the animals' urge to discard excessive and toxic concentrations of certain elements that are widespread in specific habitats and ingested with forage plants.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
We considers the reasons for geophagy in two regions of the eastern Sikhote-Alin volcanic belt and show that one of the types of rock consumed is kudur, a natural landscape complex. Through comparative analysis of the composition of the rocks and of animal excrement, we establish that the rocks are hydrothermally altered rhyolitic tuffs. The data suggest that the main reason for geophagy may be connected with the animals' urge to discard excessive and toxic concentrations of certain elements.
We considers the reasons for geophagy in two regions of the eastern Sikhote-Alin volcanic belt...
Citation