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1 June 2005 FIBER DIGESTIBILITY BY BLACK LEMURS (EULEMUR MACACO MACACO)
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Abstract

Black lemurs, Eulemur macaco, are classified as generalist feeders, consuming a proportion of fruits and leaves that varies with seasonal availability. It is hypothesized that black lemurs are capable of using neutral detergent fiber (NDF) as a source of energy through fiber fermentation in the cecum and large intestine. In captivity, they are typically fed a diet of commercially available primate biscuits and readily available produce, both of which are limited in NDF. Digestibility trials were conducted on 14 black lemurs; 12 were housed in groups (four, three, three, and two) and 2 were individually housed. The lemurs were fed four manufactured feeds differing in fiber form and content. A commercially available primate biscuit, containing approximately 27% NDF, served as the control diet. The second diet contained the same primate biscuits, which were ground and then incorporated into a fiber-based gel matrix. The third and fourth diets were formulated using soybean hulls or ground corncobs as the fiber source, resulting in 53% and 47% NDF, respectively. Produce was added to the diet at 36% (dry matter basis). Dry matter digestibility differed significantly among all diets. Neutral detergent fiber digestibility was highest for the ground biscuit in gel and lowest for the two high-fiber gel diets, with biscuit digestibility values falling between the two extremes. The high-fiber gel diets were successful in increasing the NDF concentrations of the primate diets; however, black lemurs were capable of only limited fiber digestion.

Debra A. Schmidt, Monty S. Kerley, Ingrid J. Porton, James H. Porter, Janet L. Dempsey, Mark E. Griffin, Mark R. Ellersieck, and William C. Sadler "FIBER DIGESTIBILITY BY BLACK LEMURS (EULEMUR MACACO MACACO)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 36(2), 204-211, (1 June 2005). https://doi.org/10.1638/04-018.1
Received: 2 February 2004; Published: 1 June 2005
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