Nitrogen and Urea Metabolism and Nitrogen Requirements of the Common Ringtail Possum, Pseudocheirus Peregrinus, Fed Eucalyptus Andrewsii Foliage.
MJ Chilcott and ID Hume
Australian Journal of Zoology
32(5) 615 - 622
The maintenance nitrogen requirement of mature common ringtail possums, Pseudocheirusperegrinus, feeding on a sole diet of Eucalyptus andrewsii foliage was estimated to be 380 mg.kg-0.75.d-¹ on a dietary basis and 290 mg.kg-0.75.d-¹ on a truly digestible basis. The difference between these two estimates was due to a low true digestibility of nitrogen of 79%. Apparent digestibility of nitrogen was 58%. The level of urea metabolism in the ringtail was low compared with other herbivores. Only 40 mg urea-nitrogen.kg-0.75 was recycled to the gut each day, but this was 96% of irreversible loss rate (i.e. endogenous synthesis rate) and 11% of the ringtail's intake of truly digestible nitrogen. A low maintenance requirement for nitrogen, together with the recycling of a high proportion of endogenous urea to the gut, helps to explain the ability of the ringtail possum to remain in positive nitrogen balance on a sole diet of E. andrewsii foliage of only 1.1% nitrogen content.
Full text doi:10.1071/ZO9840615
© CSIRO 1984