Document Detail

Saving energy during hard times: Energetic adaptations of Shetland pony mares.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25359931     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Recent results suggest that wild Northern herbivores reduce their metabolism during times of low ambient temperatures and food shortage in order to reduce their energetic needs. It is however not known if domesticated animals are also able to reduce their energy expenditure. We exposed ten Shetland pony mares to different environmental conditions (summer and winter) and to two food quantities (60 and 100% of maintenance energy requirement, respectively) during low winter temperatures to examine energetic and behavioural responses. In summer ponies showed a considerably higher field metabolic rate (FMR) (63.4±15.0 MJ d(-1)) compared to restrictively fed and control animals in winter (24.6±7.8 MJ d(-1) and 15.0±1.1 MJ d(-1), respectively). During summer conditions locomotor activity, resting heart rates and total water turnover were considerably elevated (P<0.001) compared to winter. Restrictively fed animals (N=5) compensated for the decreased energy supply by reducing their FMR by 26% compared to control animals (N=5). Furthermore, resting heart rate, body mass and body condition score were lower (29.2±2.7 beats min(-1); 140±22 kg; 3.0±1.0 points) than in control animals (36.8±41 beats min(-1); 165 ±31 kg; 4.4±0.7 points; P<0.05). While the observed behaviour did not change, nocturnal hypothermia was elevated. We conclude that ponies acclimatize to different climatic conditions by changing their metabolic rate, behaviour and some physiological parameters. When exposed to energy challenges, ponies, like wild herbivores, exhibited hypometabolism and nocturnal hypothermia.
Lea Brinkmann; Martina Gerken; Catherine Hambly; John R Speakman; Alexander Riek
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-10-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2014 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-10-31     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  2014-11-2    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
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