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Energy intake for maintenance in a mammal with a low basal metabolism, the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)


Stahl, M. Energy intake for maintenance in a mammal with a low basal metabolism, the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). 2011, University of Zurich, Vetsuisse Faculty.

Abstract

Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) are among those mammals for which a particularly low metabolism has been reported. In order to verify presumably low requirements for energy, we used 8 captive adult anteaters (2 males, 6 females; aged 1-14 years; body mass between 46-64 kg) in a total of 64 individual experiments, in which a variety of intake levels was achieved on a variety of diets. Digestible energy (DE) intake was quantified by measuring food intake and faecal excretion and analyzing representative samples of gross energy, and animals were weighed regularly. Maintenance DE requirements were calculated by regression analysis for the DE intake that corresponded to no weight change; this resulted in an estimate of 347 kJ DE kg-0.75d-1, which is low compared to the 460-580 kJ DE kg-0.75 d-1 maintenance requirements of domestic dogs. In theory, metabolic requirements below the mammalian average could make species particularly susceptible to
overfeeding, if amounts considered adequate for other mammals are given. Anecdotal reports
on comparatively fast growth rates and high body masses in captive as compared to freeranging
giant anteaters suggest that feeding regimes in captivity should be further assessed.

Abstract

Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) are among those mammals for which a particularly low metabolism has been reported. In order to verify presumably low requirements for energy, we used 8 captive adult anteaters (2 males, 6 females; aged 1-14 years; body mass between 46-64 kg) in a total of 64 individual experiments, in which a variety of intake levels was achieved on a variety of diets. Digestible energy (DE) intake was quantified by measuring food intake and faecal excretion and analyzing representative samples of gross energy, and animals were weighed regularly. Maintenance DE requirements were calculated by regression analysis for the DE intake that corresponded to no weight change; this resulted in an estimate of 347 kJ DE kg-0.75d-1, which is low compared to the 460-580 kJ DE kg-0.75 d-1 maintenance requirements of domestic dogs. In theory, metabolic requirements below the mammalian average could make species particularly susceptible to
overfeeding, if amounts considered adequate for other mammals are given. Anecdotal reports
on comparatively fast growth rates and high body masses in captive as compared to freeranging
giant anteaters suggest that feeding regimes in captivity should be further assessed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Clauss M
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:08 Jan 2012 17:33
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 11:05
Number of Pages:12
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0396.2011.01226.x
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/64595/

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