Energy Budget in Subterranean Rodents: Insights from the Tuco-Tuco Ctenomys Talarum (Rodentia: Ctenomyidae)

C. Daniel Antinuchi, Roxana R. Zenuto, Facunda Luna, Ana Paula Cutrera, Paula P. Perissinotti and Cristina Busch

in The Quintessential Naturalist

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780520098596
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916159 | DOI:
Energy Budget in Subterranean Rodents: Insights from the Tuco-Tuco Ctenomys Talarum (Rodentia: Ctenomyidae)

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This chapter focuses on the energy budget of a single species (a tuco-tuco, one of Pearson's favorite beasts). It characterizes the energy budget for the South American subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum (Talas tuco-tuco), based on new and published data on energy intake (ingestion and digestion) and expenditure (cellular maintenance, thermoregulation, digging activity, movement, pregnancy, lactation, and growth). The chapter observes that animals fed on an low-quality diet ingested more food, produced more feces, and showed lower incidence of coprophagy, lower digestibility, and reduced transit time relative to those fed a high-quality diet. It notes that this increase in food intake would assure similar total-energy assimilation as a high-quality diet, and demonstrates that tuco-tucos can adjust their ingestive and digestive processes according to the quality of the available food resources. The chapter also discusses possible extrinsic and intrinsic limitations on the C. talarum's energy budget.

Keywords: energy budget; Ctenomys talarum; energy intake; expenditure; low-quality diet; coprophagy; high-quality diet

Chapter.  12295 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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