Time Budget in Two Desert Gerbils: is the Diet Important? Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We studied time budgets and dietary intake in two desert gerbillids, Psammomys obesus, a diurnal herbivore, and Meriones crassus, a nocturnal granivore feeding three different types of diet (millet seeds together with leaves of Atriplex halimus for M. crassus, fresh leaves of A. halimus or fresh stems of Anabasis syriaca for P. obesus). M. crassus spent the lowest proportion of its time budget for feeding compared to P. obesus. Number of feeding sessions in M. crassus was approximately the same but each separate feeding session was almost three times shorter than those in P. obesus. No difference in temporal pattern of feeding was found between P. obesus fed different plants, in spite of sharp differences in chemical composition of food. P. obesus fed A. halimus was active significantly less time than M. crassus, whereas P. obesus fed A. syriaca stayed active the same time as M. crassus. Dry matter intake of P. obesus fed A. halimus was much higher than that of M. crassus and dry matter intake of P. obesus fed A. syriaca was lower than even that in M. crassus.

publication date

  • December 15, 2003