Aspects of the digestion in the Cape porcupine

Author: A.S. van Jaarsveld
Year: 1983
Issue: 1
Volume: 13
Page: 31 - 33

The digestive capabilities of the Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) were studied using captive and field animals. The stomach contents comprised 6,47% of the body mass and had a low pH (2,0).The Cape porcupine also has a long small intestine (670 cm). The large stomach and small intestine form a very efficient protein digesting (83,8%) apparatus. The caecum is relatively small, constituting 2,7% of the body mass. On a high fibre diet food intake declined and retention time of digesta in the tract increased. Fibre is probably only included in the diet at times of food shortage.

Keywords: colon fermenter, digestibility, morphometrics, Porcupine digestion, transit time
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