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The allocation of a ruminant feeding type to the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) on the basis of morphological parameters


Clauss, Marcus; Hummel, J; Völlm, J; Lorenz, A; Hofmann, R R (2006). The allocation of a ruminant feeding type to the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) on the basis of morphological parameters. In: Fidgett, A; Clauss, M; Eulenberger, K; Hatt, J M; Hume, I; Janssens, G; Nijboer, J. Zoo animal nutrition Vol. III. Fürth: Filander, 253-270.

Abstract

As the anatomy of the digestive tract of the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) has not been described in relation to the ruminant feeding type classification to date, we here report anatomical measurements on a complete digestive tract of an okapi euthanised in captivity and measurements of its ingesta particle size and forestomach protozoa species, supplemented with other information on two okapi forestomachs and anatomical literature data. The digestive tract of the okapi is characterised by a comparatively small reticulorumen (wet contents 9.8 % of body weight) with weak rumen pillars (thickness 7-10 mm), a shallow reticular honeycomb structure (reticular crest height 1-2 mm) and a small omasum (curvature 28-33 cm); particularly long papillae unguiculiformes have been reported and were found in one forestomach investigated, but are not a consistent finding. The ratio of the length of the small vs. large intestine was low (1.3-1.8). The liver investigated was comparatively large (1.56 % of body weight). Faecal particle size investigated was large compared to other ruminant data. Forestomach protozoa were almost exclusively Entodinium species. All these parameters are in accord with a classification as a typical browser according to Hofmann (1989). However, the parotid glands investigated represented only 0.071 % of body weight, which is within the range typically reported for grazers. Potential causes and consequences of this finding are briefly discussed.

As the anatomy of the digestive tract of the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) has not been described in relation to the ruminant feeding type classification to date, we here report anatomical measurements on a complete digestive tract of an okapi euthanised in captivity and measurements of its ingesta particle size and forestomach protozoa species, supplemented with other information on two okapi forestomachs and anatomical literature data. The digestive tract of the okapi is characterised by a comparatively small reticulorumen (wet contents 9.8 % of body weight) with weak rumen pillars (thickness 7-10 mm), a shallow reticular honeycomb structure (reticular crest height 1-2 mm) and a small omasum (curvature 28-33 cm); particularly long papillae unguiculiformes have been reported and were found in one forestomach investigated, but are not a consistent finding. The ratio of the length of the small vs. large intestine was low (1.3-1.8). The liver investigated was comparatively large (1.56 % of body weight). Faecal particle size investigated was large compared to other ruminant data. Forestomach protozoa were almost exclusively Entodinium species. All these parameters are in accord with a classification as a typical browser according to Hofmann (1989). However, the parotid glands investigated represented only 0.071 % of body weight, which is within the range typically reported for grazers. Potential causes and consequences of this finding are briefly discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:25 Mar 2009 14:58
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 13:36
Publisher:Filander
Series Name:Zoological Library
ISBN:978-3-930831-57-9
Related URLs:http://www.filander.de/ (Publisher)
http://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?fn=search&mode=Advanced&vid=ZAD&vl%28186672378UI0%29=isbn&vl%281UI0%29=contains&vl%28freeText0%29=978-3-930831-57-9
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3514

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