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Salt and Water Balance of Feral versus Domestic Hampshire Hogs

Stam M. Zervanos, William D. McCort and H. B. Graves
Physiological Zoology
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Jan., 1983), pp. 67-77
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30159967
Page Count: 11
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Salt and Water Balance of Feral versus Domestic Hampshire Hogs
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Abstract

A study was conducted to determine the adaptive response to high salt diets of feral hogs living in the salt marshes of Ossabaw Island, Georgia. Two groups of hogs were used. One group consisted of three feral hogs from Ossabaw Island and the other of three domestic Hampshire hogs. Both groups were maintained in metabolism cages under constant environmental conditions and fed consecutive diets of 0.5%, 3%, and 6% salt (NaCl) content. During each dietary regime, observations were made on food, water, and salt intake and urine, feces, and salt output. The feral hogs required significantly less drinking water than the Hampshires. The major avenue of water loss was urinary, with ferals losing significantly less than the Hampshires. This difference was due to the greater renal concentrating abilities of the feral hogs. Urine osmotic concentrations were as high as 1,039.7 mOsm for the feral hogs and 712.1 mOsm for the Hampshires. The feral hogs' more efficient salt and water maintenance mechanisms may represent adaptations to an environment of high salt diets and minimal availability of freshwater.

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