Document Detail

Ultradian rhythms and the nutritional importance of caecotrophy in captive Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17211665     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Ingestion of soft faeces derived from caecal contents, caecotrophy, in herbivorous small mammals is considered an adaptation to the metabolic disadvantage of small body size, especially when feeding on diets of low quality. We investigated daily activity patterns in captive Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), including feeding, locomotion, caecotrophy, and defaecation, by continuous 24 h visual observation; and estimated the contribution of soft faeces ingestion (caecotrophy) to intake of protein and energy. Brandt's voles ingested 68.8 +/- 7.4 fecal pellets per day, averaging 17 +/- 2% of total faeces produced. The amount of faeces ingested did not differ between female and male voles or between night and day time. All animals showed average 3 h ultradian cycles in behaviour during the course of the day and night. The contributions of caecotrophy to the dietary intake of crude protein and metabolizable energy were estimated respectively as 9 and 8% on a high-protein, easily digested commercial rabbit pellet diet. However, the importance of caecotrophy to the field voles is likely to be higher on a natural diet of lower nutrient density. The rhythm of caecotrophy in voles depended mainly on the rhythm of the colonic separation mechanism in the proximal colon and passage in the distal colon, and may be regulated by feeding and other activity rhythms. Ultradian rhythms in caecotrophy helped to minimise potential conflicts in utilizing the gut, especially in balancing the caecal fermentation and salvaging nutrients contained in caecal bacteria.
Quan-Sheng Liu; Ji-Yuan Li; De-Hua Wang
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-01-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology     Volume:  177     ISSN:  0174-1578     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Comp. Physiol. B, Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2007 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-17     Completed Date:  2007-08-01     Revised Date:  2009-06-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8413200     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol B     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  423-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management for Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 25 Beisihuan Xilu, Zhongguancun, Haidian, Beijing 100080, China.
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MeSH Terms
Activity Cycles / physiology*
Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
Arvicolinae / physiology*
Body Size / physiology
Cecum / physiology*
Defecation / physiology
Energy Metabolism / physiology
Feeding Behavior / physiology*
Nitrogen / metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:

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

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