Changes in milk composition during lactation in three species of insectivorous bats

Kunz, T.H., Oftedal, O.T., Robson, S.K., Kretzmann, M.B., and Kirk, C. (1995) Changes in milk composition during lactation in three species of insectivorous bats. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical Systemic and Environmental Physiology, 164 (7). pp. 543-551.

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Abstract

Changes in milk composition are described for three species of free-ranging insectivorous bats (Myotis lucifugus, M. velifer, and Tadarida brasiliensis) from early to mid (peak) lactation. Dry matter and energy concentrations in milk increased from early to mid-lactation. In M. lucifugus and T. brasiliensis, but not M. velifer, these increases were due largely to a rise in fat concentration, since protein and carbohydrate remained relatively constant. Energy content of milk (kJ·g-1) for each species from early through mid-lactation was related to dry matter (DM) as follows: M. lucifugus (y=0.31 DM-0.32, r 2=0.68), M. velifer (y=0.48 DM-5.08, r 2=0.99), and T. brasiliensis (y=0.37 DM-1.51, r 2=0.61). Comparison of the effect of sampling method on milk composition of T. brasiliensis indicated that fat, dry matter, and energy concentrations increased significantly from pre-dawn to prenoon samples. Relatively high fat and low water levels in T. brasiliensis milk may reflect the limited access that lactating females have to free water, as well as need to minimize mass of stored milk during long foraging trips. Conversely, lower fat concentrations and higher water levels in milk in M. lucifugus and M. velifer may relate to the propensity for colonies of these two species to roost and forage near bodies of water. In addition, differences in milk fat concentrations observed among the three species may correlate to daily suckling schedules. Females of T. brasiliensis, for example, roost apart from and suckle their young on a regular daily schedule, whereas both species of Myotis roost with their pups and appear to suckle them on demand.

Item ID: 23113
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-136X
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2012 05:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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