LATE AFTERNOON 20 July 2019: A binturong rests next to a large ripe black Ficus punctata fig fruit growing on a liana next to the core road at Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah. Note that the large orange figs surrounding the binturong are not yet ripe. Only the black fig next to the tree trunk on the right is ripe. By sleeping next to the ripe fig the binturong is defending the ripe fig from “theft” by palm civets, macaques and gibbons. This binturong is guarding her breakfast !
All photos courtesy of Sophie and Manuel Baumgartner.
The only ripe fig in this photo is on the right at the point of the arrow. Ficus punctata fruits on a 90 day cycle 4 times a year. The figs do not ripen in one big bang but individually (steady state) over a period of many weeks thus attracting locally resident dispersers such as gibbons and palm civets rather than long distance nomads such as orangutans.