Digestion and body composition in muskoxen
Adamczewski, Jan Z. (Jan Zygmunt)
MetadataShow full item record
Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) are relatively large herbivores living in an arctic environment where forage is sparse and its availability during long winters is often much reduced by snow and ice. Muskoxen cope by obtaining energy and nutrients from the low-quality sedges and grasses they eat, and from body reserves accumulated in summer and autumn. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the physiological and energetic adaptation of muskoxen to digestion of graminoid forage, and to measure the extent and reproductive significance of seasonal changes in body composition of female muskoxen. The first objective was addressed using two studies with captive muskoxen in Saskatoon, and the second during a field study on Victoria Island, Northwest Territories. In the first study, changes in body weight, intake, retention time and digestibility of a supplemented brome-alfalfa hay were measured in mature muskoxen during two seasonal cycles. Mean daily dry matter intake of breeding females was highest in July and August (62 ± 3.6 g/kg0.75) then declined slowly to its lowest point in March and April (41 ± 0.7 g/kg0.75). Mean retention time of hay, calculated from a chromium marker, declined (P
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeFlood, Peter F.
Copyright DateMay 1995
muskoxen - body composition
muskoxen - physiological adaptation
muskoxen - nutrition
muskoxen - diet
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