Interspecific and intraspecific variation in proximate, mineral, and fatty acid composition of milk in old world fruit bats (Chiroptera : Pteropodidae)
Iverson, Sara J.
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We examine the effect of body mass on milk composition among Old World fruit bats, including Pteropus pumilus (0.175 kg), Pteropus rodricensus (0.265 kg), Pteropus hypomelanus (0.571 kg), and Pteropus vampyrus (1.133 kg). We describe intra- and interspecific differences in the proximate composition of milk among these four species and the minerals and fatty acids in the milk of the latter two species. There were no differences between species in the concentrations of dry matter, fat, or lactose in milk. However, there were significant, although small, differences in the protein content of milk among species, with protein being significantly greater in P. rodricensus than in P. pumilus and P. hypomelanus and protein being significantly less in P. hypomelanus than in P. rodricensus and P. vampyrus. There were no differences in mineral content between P. hypomelanus and P. vampyrus in milk minerals, but minor differences were evident in fatty acids 12:0, 14:0, 18:0, 18:1n11, and 18:2n6. Our findings suggest that milk composition is relatively constant across lactation for most proximate, mineral, and fatty acid components. We found a significant increase in dry matter and energy across lactation in the concentration of dry matter and energy in P. pumilus and fat in P. hypomelanus. In P. hypomelanus, we found a significant increase in the concentration of fatty acids 10:0 and 20:1n9 and a significant decrease in Iso15 and 20:1n7. No other differences associated with day of lactation were found. These findings suggest that milk composition is generally similar within the genus Pteropus, despite a 6.5-fold difference in body mass between species that we evaluated.
Hood, WR, TH Kunz, OT Oftedal, SJ Iverson, et al. 2001. "Interspecific and intraspecific variation in proximate, mineral, and fatty acid composition of milk in old world fruit bats (Chiroptera : Pteropodidae)." Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 74(1): 134-146. Copyright © 2001 The University of Chicago Press.