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J Comp Physiol B. 1997 Feb;167(2):81-8.

Energetics during nursing and early postweaning fasting in hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) pups from the Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada.

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1
Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway.

Abstract

In this study we measured growth and milk intake and calculated energy intake and its allocation into metabolism and stored tissue for hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) pups. In addition, we measured mass loss, change in body composition and metabolic rate during the first days of the postweaning fast. The mean body mass of the hooded seal pups (n = 5) at the start of the experiments, when they were new-born, was 24.3 +/- 1.3 kg (SD). They gained an average of 5.9 +/- 1.1. kg.day-1 of which 19% was water, 76% fat and 5% protein. This corresponds to an average daily energy deposition of 179.8 +/- 16.0 MJ. The pups were weaned at an average body mass of 42.5 +/- 1.0 kg 3.1 days after the experiment was initiated. During the first days of the postweaning fast the pups lost an average of 1.3 +/- 0.5 kg of body mass daily, of which 56% was water, 16% fat and 28% protein. During the nursing period the average daily water influx for the pups was 124.6 +/- 25.8 ml.kg-1. The average CO2 .production during this period was 1.10 +/- 0.20 ml.g-1.h-1, which corresponds to a field metabolic rate of 714 +/- 130 kJ. kg-1. day-1, or 5.8 +/- 1.1 times the predicted basal metabolic rate according to Kleiber (1975). During the postweaning fast the average daily water influx was reduced to 16.1 +/- 6.6 ml.kg-1. The average CO2 production in this period was 0.58 +/- 0.17 ml.g-1.h-1 which corresponds to a field metabolic rate of 375 +/- 108 kJ.kg-1.day-1 or 3.2 +/- 0.9 times the predicted basal metabolic rate. Average values for milk composition were 33.5% water, 58.6% fat and 6.2% protein. The pups drank an average of 10.4 +/- 1.8 kg of milk daily, which represents an energy intake of 248.9 +/- 39.1 MJ.day-1. The pups were able to store 73.2 +/- 7.7% of this energy as body tissue.

PMID:
9120069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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