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Diana BrighamBIOL 3230 : 

Diana BrighamBIOL 3230 Adam J. Munn and Terence J. Dawson Forage fibredisgestion, rates of feed passage and gut fill in juvenile and adult red kangaroos MacropusrufusDesmarest: why body size matters J Exp. Biol. 2006 209, 1535-1547

Slide 2: 

Macropusrufus or the Red Kangaroo

Slide 3: 

1) High quality hay (available with high amounts of rainfall) OR 2) Poor quality hay (available with low amounts of rainfall) Type of Kangaroo Feeding Trial Data Measured: - food input - output - changes in body mass Able to calculate: - mean retention time - gut fill - digestibility of hay YAF- Young-At-Foot Weaned Adult Female   

Slide 4: 

Munn and Dawson. J Exp. Biol. 2006 209, 1535-1547 Table 6: Total dry matter gastrointestinal tract fill (gut fill) in young-at-foot, weaned, and adult red kangaroos

Authors’ Interpretation : 

Authors’ Interpretation Higher mortality rates are likely due to the fact that smaller juvenile kangaroos appeared unable to compensate for lower forage quality by expanding gut fill. Whether they had high or low-quality forage, they were always at maximal fill. The mature female kangaroos did not maximize gut fill on the high-quality forage, so they were able to expand gut fill in order to satisfy energy needs.

We should read this study because… : 

We should read this study because… It is the first study to show a large marsupial herbivore adjusting gut fill in response to diet quality. It provides the first mechanistic explanation linking the physiological constraints faced by juvenile red kangaroos when forage quality is low and energy requirements are high. The results can help explain drought-related mortalities among juvenile kangaroos, which may be applicable when researching similar species.

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