A small gerbil that maximizes intake of energy from low-energy food Academic Article uri icon


  • Gerbillus henleyi (10 g) and Meriones crassus (73 g), coexisting desert rodents, consumed similar proportions of seeds (0.84-0.88 of total dry-matter intake) when offered millet seeds and the plant Hammada salicornica ad lib. However, based on differences in body size, we predicted that the smaller G. henleyi would consume a more energy-rich diet than M. crassus. This occurred (digestible energy of 19.3 versus 17.2 kJ g -l dry matter) as a result of differences in energy intake of H. salicornica. G. henleyi consumed this plant after shredding it, whereas M. crassus consumed it in toto.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997