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1 December 2009 Survey of Minerals and Fat-Soluble Vitamins in Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)
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Abstract

Serum and whole blood samples from 64 clinically normal captive black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), aged 6 mo to 32 yr, were analyzed to survey mineral and fat-soluble vitamin concentrations. All animals were fed a commercial primate food and a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Specific commercial diet information was available for 52 animals that were fed one of 10 different diets. Data analysis showed no differences in the analytes attributable to sex or access to natural ultraviolet light. Serum phosphorus (range: 1.4–3.1 mmol/L) was significantly higher and retinol (range: 0.38–1.23 µmol/L) was significantly lower in young animals (≤4 yr). Iron (range: 17.2–77.0 µmol/L) and copper (range: 10.7–53.3 µmol/L) were much higher than concentrations reported in other free-ranging lemur species, and in some animals were at levels considered potentially toxic in domestic animals. Magnesium (range: 0.66–2.04 mmol/L), sodium (range: 111–201 mmol/L), and potassium (range: 2.0–6.8 mmol/L) ranged both lower and higher than concentrations considered adequate for a mammal, but were similar to concentrations reported in wild red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra), a closely related species. Selenium (range: 3.5–7.7 µmol/L) was within the range expected for a mammal, but higher than concentrations reported in wild V. rubra. Zinc (range: 9.2–62.7 µmol/L) was similar to concentrations reported in V. rubra. Calcidiol (range: <12.5–144.8 nmol/L) and retinol (range: 0.38–2.95 µmol/L) were both lower and higher than concentrations reported in V. rubra. Lower serum calcidiol concentration correlated with lower commercial dietary vitamin D3. α-tocopherol (range: 1.2–17.6 µmol/L) and γ-tocopherol (range: 0.3–3.9 µmol/L) were within a range expected in a captive frugivorous primate but higher than concentrations found in wild V. rubra.

Graham C. Crawford, Birgit Puschner, Ellen S. Dierenfeld, and Freeland Dunker "Survey of Minerals and Fat-Soluble Vitamins in Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 40(4), 632-638, (1 December 2009). https://doi.org/10.1638/2008-0014.1
Received: 19 January 2008; Published: 1 December 2009
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