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Protein requirements of three species of parrots with distinct dietary specializations
Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 03:12 AM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 4698
General News Pryor GS
ZOO BIOLOGY
22 (2): 163-177 2003

Abstract:
Dietary protein deficiency is considered a major obstacle in the evolution of highly specialized nectarivorous and frugivorous birds. Proposed physiological mechanisms that enable such specialists to subsist on low-protein diets include minimized endogenous protein losses, which contribute to reduced protein requirements. I compared these traits among nectarivorous red lories (Eos bornea), frugivorous Pesquet's parrots (Psittrichas fulgidus), and granivorous budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). My results suggest that, relative to budgerigars, red lories and Pesquet's parrots have low endogenous protein losses and reduced crude protein (CP) requirements.

Based on nitrogen balance analyses, diets containing 1.0%, 3.2%, and 8.2% CP (on a dry matter (DM) basis) would meet the minimal protein requirements for maintenance for red lories, Pesquet's parrots, and budgerigars, respectively. Low endogenous protein losses and reduced protein requirements are effective physiological adaptations that allow birds such as red lories and Pesquet's parrots to specialize on low-protein foods.

(C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Author Keywords:
nitrogen, frugivores, granivores, nectarivores, specialists

KeyWords Plus:
FRUGIVOROUS BIRDS, PASSERINE BIRDS, FLESHY FRUITS, AMINO-ACIDS, WILD BIRDS, NITROGEN, NECTAR, HUMMINGBIRDS, MAINTENANCE, ADAPTATIONS

Addresses:
Pryor GS, Univ Florida, Dept Zool, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
Univ Florida, Dept Zool, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA

Publisher:
WILEY-LISS, DIV JOHN WILEY & SONS INC, 605 THIRD AVE, NEW YORK, NY 10158-0012 USA

IDS Number:
669ZL

ISSN:
0733-3188

  


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