The nutritional ecology and digestive physiology of salamanders in the Family Sirenidae remain poorly understood. Although the intestinal contents of these salamanders include herbivorous dietary items, the nutritional significance of such ingested matter is unknown. In this study, we examined gut contents, gastrointestinal structure, and microbial fermentation in wild-caught Greater Sirens (Siren lacertina). Ingested items included aquatic invertebrates, vascular plants, and algae. The guts of these amphibians were not as voluminous or morphologically specialized as in many herbivores, but the posterior intestine was enlarged and exhibited a distinct folding pattern and an ileocolonic valve that may help maintain a symbiotic microbial population. An active microbial fermentation was indicated by relatively high levels of short-chain fatty acids in the medial-posterior and posterior gut regions. This is the first account of gastrointestinal fermentation in the Family Sirenidae and only the second account in the Class Amphibia.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.