oa African Zoology - A preliminary investigation of the bioenergetics of pregnancy and lactation of Praomys nataIensis and Saccostomus campestris

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The energy requirements of pregnant, lactating and non-reproductive Praomys natalensis and Saccostomus campestris were studied in metabolism cages and respirometers. Ingestion rate during pregnancy and lactation was not increased significantly in either species. P. natalensis and S. campestris showed non-significant Increases in respiratory rate during pregnancy (18% and 55% respectively) but significant Increases in oxygen consumption during lactation (79% and 110% respectively). The results highlight the need for studies quantifying lipid and protein flux during pregnancy and lactation, since quantifying energy turnover alone is inadequate and misleading. The energetic costs of reproduction are discussed in relation to previous studies.

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