CC-BY 4.0

Digestive physiology, resting metabolism and methane production of captive Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica)

K. B. Hagen 1,  
S. Hammer 2,  
S. Frei 1,  
S. Ortmann 3,  
R. Głogowski 4,  
M. Kreuzer 5,  
M. Clauss 1  
University of Zurich, Vetsuisse Faculty, Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Winterthurerstr. 260, 15 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Naturschutz-Tierpark Görlitz, Zittauerstrasse 43, D-02826 Görlitz, Germany
Leibniz Instiute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) Berlin, Alfred-Kowalke Str. 17, 10315 Berlin, Germany
Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS) – SGGW, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding, Ciszewskiego 8, 02-786 Warsaw, Poland
ETH Zurich, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Universitätsstr. 2, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2019;28(1):69–77
Publish date: 2019-02-20
Limited physiological measurements exist for the digestive physiology of porcupines. We measured CH4 emission in three captive Indian crested porcupines (Hystrix indica; 16.1 ± 2.7 kg) fed a diet of pelleted lucerne, and measured feed intake, digestibility, and digesta mean retention time (MRT) of a solute and three particle markers (<2, 10 and 20 mm). Marker excretion patterns suggested secondary peaks indicative of caecotrophy, with MRTs of 26.4 h for the solute and 31.5, 26.8 and 26.2 h for the three particle markers, respectively. At a dry matter intake of 58 ±10 g/kg body mass0.75/day, porcupines digested 49 and 35% organic matter and neutral detergent fibre, respectively, which is in the lower range of that expected for horses on a similar diet. The respiratory quotient (CO2/O2) was 0.91, the resting metabolic rate 274 kJ/kg body mass0.75/day, and CH4 emissions averaged at 8.16 l/day and 17.9 l/kg dry matter intake. Accordingly, CH4 yield was so high that it resembled that of a hypothetical ruminant of this body mass. The results are in accord with general understanding of hystricomorph rodent digestive physiology, and support recent findings that CH4 production may be more prominent in rodents than previously thought.
M. Clauss   
University of Zurich, Vetsuisse Faculty, Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Winterthurerstr. 260, 15 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
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1. Digestive anatomy, physiology, resting metabolism and methane production of captive maras (Dolichotis patagonum)
Marcus Clauss, Katharina Hagen, Samuel Frei, Sylvia Ortmann, Arne Lawrenz, Robert Głogowski, Julia Fritz, Edmund Flach, Michael Kreuzer
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology