Adaptive energy metabolism in four chromosomal species of subterranean mole rats

S. Yahav, S. Simson, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gross energy intake and apparent dry matter digestibility of animals fed carrots ad lib in the laboratory, were measured in the four chromosomal species of the Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies in Israel. Gross energy intake of 132.8 and 155.9 kJ/day was measured for the 2n=52 and 2n=58 chromosomal "mesic" species, while in the 2n=54 and 2n=60 chromosomal "xeric" species it measured only 80.3 and 75.0 kJ/day, respectively. Dry matter digestibility ranged between 92.3 and 95.6% in thefour chromosomal species. The differences in gross energy intake between the "mesic" and "xeric" species, appeared to reflect adaptive energy metabolism variation associated with geographic variation in climate, habitat productivity, and food availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-536
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988


  • Adaptation
  • Energetics
  • Spalax ehrenbergi
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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