Nutrition and feeding strategies

Klieve, Athol V., O'Hara, Patricia and Murray, Peter J. (2015). Nutrition and feeding strategies. In Athol Klieve, Lindsay Hogan, Stephen Johnston and Peter Murray (Ed.), Marsupials and monotremes: nature's enigmatic mammals (pp. 229-260) New York, NY, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

Author Klieve, Athol V.
O'Hara, Patricia
Murray, Peter J.
Title of chapter Nutrition and feeding strategies
Title of book Marsupials and monotremes: nature's enigmatic mammals
Place of Publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Nova Science Publishers
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Chapter in textbook
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Year available 2015
Series Animal science, issues and research
ISBN 9781634829731
Editor Athol Klieve
Lindsay Hogan
Stephen Johnston
Peter Murray
Chapter number 6
Start page 229
End page 260
Total pages 32
Total chapters 11
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The monotremes and marsupials have developed an impressive array of divergent feeding and nutritive systems. The extant monotreme species are largely invertebrate feeders and they differ from other mammals by having an elaborate electroreception system, which is particularly well developed in the platypus, for the detection of prey. Another characteristic that is unusual is the lack of a gastric stomach. Marsupials include both carnivores and herbivores, with some opportunist "carnivores" also consuming significant plant materials to classify as omnivores. The extant carnivores tend to be small (< 20 kg), with larger species being extinct. The smallest species are primarily insectivorous and as size increases the proportion of vertebrates in the diet increases. The marsupial herbivores range from large grazing animals such as kangaroos and wombats to tiny nectar feeding possums. Koalas and the rat-kangaroos have also evolved to be dietary specialists feeding on eucalypt leaves and subterranean fungi, respectively. Microbial fermentation of fibrous plant matter takes place in an enlarged forestomach (macropods) or in the lower gastrointestinal tract. The microbes that inhabit the gut are not well understood and have only been studied in a few marsupial species. The reductively acetogenic microbial community present in macropods limits methane production from these forestomach fermenting herbivores, as compared to domestic livestock, and this characteristic has implications for reducing green-house gas omissions.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
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Created: Wed, 21 Oct 2015, 10:10:20 EST by Dr Athol Klieve on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences