Document Detail

Physiological effects of a fish oil supplement on captive juvenile tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10801396     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Tuatara (Sphenodon, Order Sphenodontia) are rare New Zealand reptiles whose conservation involves captive breeding. Wild tuatara eat seabirds, which contain high levels of the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are absent from the captive diet, and consequently, plasma fatty acid composition of wild and captive tuatara differs. This study investigated the effects of incorporating EPA and DHA into the diet of captive juvenile tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) in an attempt to replicate the plasma fatty acid composition of wild tuatara. Tuatara receiving a fish oil supplement containing EPA and DHA showed overall changes in their plasma fatty acid composition. Phospholipid EPA and DHA increased markedly, reaching 10.0% and 5.9 mol%, respectively, by 18 mo (cf. </=0.9% in controls). A reduced dosage from 18 to 24 mo probably still provided a higher n-3 PUFA content than the diet of wild juveniles. The fish oil supplement had no significant effects over 2 yr on growth rate, food conversion efficiency, or metabolism compared with controls; all juveniles survived and grew. Further study is required to determine whether a fish oil supplement would have long-term benefits for captive tuatara.
T A Blair; A Cree; C M Skeaff; N M Grimmond
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiological and biochemical zoology : PBZ     Volume:  73     ISSN:  1522-2152     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Biochem. Zool.     Publication Date:    2000 Mar-Apr
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-07-06     Completed Date:  2000-07-06     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100883369     Medline TA:  Physiol Biochem Zool     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  177-91     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
Animals, Zoo / growth & development,  metabolism,  physiology*
Cholesterol / blood
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / veterinary
Chromatography, Thin Layer / veterinary
Conservation of Natural Resources
Dietary Fats / metabolism*
Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood,  metabolism,  physiology*
Fish Oils / metabolism
Multivariate Analysis
New Zealand
Oxygen Consumption / physiology
Phospholipids / blood
Plant Oils / metabolism
Reptiles / growth & development,  metabolism,  physiology*
Triglycerides / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Dietary Fats; 0/Fatty Acids, Omega-3; 0/Fish Oils; 0/Phospholipids; 0/Plant Oils; 0/Triglycerides; 57-88-5/Cholesterol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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