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Two hypotheses, nutrient constraints and detoxification limitation, have been proposed to explain the lack of specialists among mammalian herbivores. The nutrient constraint hypothesis proposes that dietary specialization in mammalian herbivores is rare because no one plant can provide all requisite nutrients. The detoxification limitation hypothesis(More)
Temporal stable isotope records derived from animal tissues are increasingly studied to determine dietary and climatic histories. Despite this, the turnover times governing rates of isotope equilibration in specific tissues following a dietary isotope change are poorly known. The dietary isotope changes recorded in the hair and blood bicarbonate of two(More)
Symbiotic gut microbes have facilitated the success of herbivorous mammals, which are generally grouped into foregut- and hindgut-fermenters. However, rodents are primarily herbivorous and exhibit a variety of gastrointestinal anatomies. Most rodents house microbes in hindgut chambers, such as the caecum and colon. Some rodents also exhibit stomach(More)
The reaction progress variable is applied to stable isotope turnover of biological tissues. This approach has the advantage of readily determining whether more than one isotope turnover pool is present; in addition, the normalization process inherent to the model means that multiple experiments can be considered together although the initial and final(More)
Mammalian herbivores are predicted to regulate concentrations of ingested plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) in the blood by modifying the size and frequency of feeding bouts. It is theorized that meal size is limited by a maximum tolerable concentration of PSMs in the blood, such that meal size is predicted to decrease as PSM concentration increases. We(More)
SYNOPSIS. Plant secondary compounds are deterrents and toxins to a variety of herbivores. The effect of secondary compounds on water balance of herbivores is virtually unexplored, yet many secondary compounds are renowned for their di-uretic effects in humans and laboratory rats. We review data from the ethno-pharmocological literature on plants with(More)
 I investigated the effects of tannin consumption, using plant tannins naturally occurring in the diet, on a herbivorous mammal, the North American pika, Ochotona princeps. The objectives were to determine if a high-tannin diet influenced protein and dry matter apparent digestibility, fiber digestibility and production of detoxification by-products.(More)
Stable carbon isotope analysis of animal liver and muscle has become a widespread tool for investigating dietary ecology. Nonetheless, stable carbon isotope turnover of these tissues has not been studied in large mammals except with isotopically labelled tracer methodologies, which do not produce carbon half-lives analogous to those derived from(More)
Plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) significantly impact the nutritional ecology of terrestrial vertebrate herbivores. Herbivores have a wide range of mechanisms (herbivore offenses) to mitigate the negative effects of PSMs. We discuss several behavioral and physiological offenses used by terrestrial vertebrates. Several newly recognized herbivore offenses(More)
The ability of herbivores to switch diets is thought to be governed by biotransformation enzymes. To identify potential biotransformation enzymes, we conducted a large-scale study on the expression of biotransformation enzymes in herbivorous woodrats (Neotoma lepida). We compared gene expression in a woodrat population from the Great Basin that feeds on the(More)