A case of non-scaling in mammalian physiology? Body size, digestive capacity, food intake, and ingesta passage in mammalian herbivores☆

As gut capacity is assumed to scale linearly to body mass (BM), and dry matter intake (DMI) to metabolic body weight (BM0.75), it has been proposed that ingesta mean retention time (MRT) should scale to BM0.25 in herbivorous mammals. We test these assumptions with the most comprehensive literature data collations (n=74 species for gut capacity, […]

Tooth wear in captive wild ruminant species differs from that of free-ranging conspecifics

The mesowear method evaluates the wear patterns of herbivore cheek teeth by visually evaluating the facet development of the occlusal surfaces. It thus allows classification of most herbivorous ungulates into browsers, grazers or intermediate feeders, due to the fact that in grazers, tooth wear is characterized by a comparatively high degree of abrasion, most probably […]

Differences in fecal particle size between free-ranging and captive individuals of two browser species

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20161.abs Data from captive animals indicated that browsing (BR) ruminants have larger fecal particles—indicative of lesser chewing efficiency—than grazers (GR). To answer whether this reflects fundamental differences between the animal groups, or different reactions of basically similar organisms to diets fed in captivity, we compared mean fecal particle size (MPS) in a GR and […]

Diet and diet-related disorders in captive ruminants at the national zoological gardens of South Africa

Although diet-related disorders have received much attention in the zoo literature, evidence-based results on relationships between diet and disease are still rare, often due to a lack of quantitative dietary information that can be linked to clinical or necropsy reports. We investigated 24 species of captive ruminants from one facility for which quantitative feeding instructions […]