Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Resting postures in terrestrial mammalian herbivores


Pucora, Endre; Schiffmann, Christian; Clauss, Marcus (2019). Resting postures in terrestrial mammalian herbivores. Journal of Mammalogy, 100(2):552-563.

Abstract

For ruminants and arboreal herbivores (sloths and colobine monkeys), an influence of digestive physiology on resting postures has been postulated that is linked to the interplay of digestive anatomy and the gravity vector. To further explore this putative relationship, we observed 253 individual terrestrial mammalian herbivores at zoological gardens, noting 29,478 resting events in 36 species during the day and 7,383 resting events of 18 species at night, providing a catalogue of mammalian resting postures. We confirm the constraint of ruminants to sternal recumbency and expand this observation to camelids, which rely on a similar sorting mechanism in their forestomach for rumination, but which use lateral recumbency to a slight but distinctively larger proportion. Generally, larger herbivores rest more in a standing position, and use lateral recumbency more when lying. The use of lateral recumbency in large hindgut fermenters (perissodactyls, elephants) and nonruminant foregut fermenters (macropods, hippos) corresponds to the concept that there is no interplay between gravity and digestive physiology in these species. By contrast, peccaries, hyraxes, and hystricomorph rodents never used lateral recumbency. While this may be related to body size, body shape, or other species-specific characteristics, it also suggests that the interplay of gravity and digestive processes, in particular with the colonic separation mechanism in hystricomorph rodents, should be further investigated.

Abstract

For ruminants and arboreal herbivores (sloths and colobine monkeys), an influence of digestive physiology on resting postures has been postulated that is linked to the interplay of digestive anatomy and the gravity vector. To further explore this putative relationship, we observed 253 individual terrestrial mammalian herbivores at zoological gardens, noting 29,478 resting events in 36 species during the day and 7,383 resting events of 18 species at night, providing a catalogue of mammalian resting postures. We confirm the constraint of ruminants to sternal recumbency and expand this observation to camelids, which rely on a similar sorting mechanism in their forestomach for rumination, but which use lateral recumbency to a slight but distinctively larger proportion. Generally, larger herbivores rest more in a standing position, and use lateral recumbency more when lying. The use of lateral recumbency in large hindgut fermenters (perissodactyls, elephants) and nonruminant foregut fermenters (macropods, hippos) corresponds to the concept that there is no interplay between gravity and digestive physiology in these species. By contrast, peccaries, hyraxes, and hystricomorph rodents never used lateral recumbency. While this may be related to body size, body shape, or other species-specific characteristics, it also suggests that the interplay of gravity and digestive processes, in particular with the colonic separation mechanism in hystricomorph rodents, should be further investigated.

Statistics

Citations

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 26 Jun 2019
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Physical Sciences > Nature and Landscape Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Animal Science and Zoology, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Nature and Landscape Conservation
Language:English
Date:24 April 2019
Deposited On:26 Jun 2019 09:22
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 10:51
Publisher:American Society of Mammalogists
ISSN:0022-2372
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyz044

Download

Closed Access: Download allowed only for UZH members

Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 1MB
View at publisher