Circulating plasma fat-soluble vitamin and mineral concentrations were compared in captive females of three species for fruit bats (Pteropus vampyrus, Pteropus hypomelanus, and Pteropus pumilus) fed the same diet. Daily total food intake averaged 28% of body weight on an as-fed basis or 7% on a dry matter basis. Dietary leftovers contained higher concentrations of phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc than the diet offered, suggesting some nutrient selectivity. Additionally, fecal mineral concentrations were two- to threefold higher than dietary concentrations of corresponding nutrients. Plasma concentrations of vitamin A (0.02–0.05 µg retinol/ml), vitamin D (1.50 ng 25-OH D3/ml; 93–108 pg 1,25 diOH D3/ml), and vitamin E (0.49–1.05 µg α-tocopherol/ml) were lower than in other herbivorous mammals, whereas plasma mineral concentrations were within normal mammalian ranges. These data may help assess the nutritional status of fruit bats.
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Vol. 31 • No. 3