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Detection of Differences in Nutrient Concentrations by Eastern Woodrats (Neotoma floridana)

Diane M. Post
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 74, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 493-497
DOI: 10.2307/1382409
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382409
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Detection of Differences in Nutrient Concentrations by Eastern Woodrats (Neotoma floridana)
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Abstract

I tested the ability of a small generalist herbivore, the eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana), to detect differences in concentrations of protein, energy, and lipid available in two nutritionally complex diet items. Within 24 h of exposure to diets, woodrats consumed a greater amount of a standard diet than diets reduced in energy or lipid by 5, 10, or 20% and a diet reduced by 20% in protein. However, they did not choose the standard over diets reduced in protein by 5 or 10%. When consumption was summed over the 9-day duration of choice trials, individuals chose the standard diet over reduced diets. The ability of woodrats to detect relatively small differences in nutrient concentrations should allow them to make efficient use of available foods.

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