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Dietary assimilation and the digestive strategy of the omnivorous anomuran land crab Birgus latro (Coenobitidae).

Wilde, Joanne, Linton, Stuart and Greenaway, Peter 2004, Dietary assimilation and the digestive strategy of the omnivorous anomuran land crab Birgus latro (Coenobitidae)., Journal of comparative physiology B, vol. 174, no. 4, pp. 299-308, doi: 10.1007/s00360-004-0415-7.

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Title Dietary assimilation and the digestive strategy of the omnivorous anomuran land crab Birgus latro (Coenobitidae).
Formatted title Dietary assimilation and the digestive strategy of the omnivorous anomuran land crab Birgus latro (Coenobitidae).
Author(s) Wilde, Joanne
Linton, StuartORCID iD for Linton, Stuart orcid.org/0000-0002-8292-7816
Greenaway, Peter
Journal name Journal of comparative physiology B
Volume number 174
Issue number 4
Start page 299
End page 308
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2004-05
ISSN 0174-1578
1432-136X
Keyword(s) Birgus latro
Land crab
Digestion
Diet
Robber crab
Dietary assimilation
Summary On Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, the diet of robber crabs, Birgus latro (Linnaeus) was generally high in fat, storage polysaccharides or protein and largely comprised fruits, seeds, nuts and animal material. The plant items also contained significant amounts of hemicellulose and cellulose. In laboratory feeding trials, crabs had similar intakes of dry matter when fed artificial diets high in either fat or storage polysaccharide, but intake was lower on a high protein diet. Assimilation coefficients of dry matter (69–74%), carbon (72–81%), nitrogen (76–100%), lipid (71–96%) and storage polysaccharide (89–99%) were high on all three diets. B. latro also assimilated significant amounts of the chitin ingested in the high protein diet ( 93%) and hemicellulose (49.6–65%) and cellulose (16–53%) from the high carbohydrate and high fat diets. This is consistent with the presence of chitinase, hemicellulase and cellulase enzymes in the digestive tract of B. latro. The mean retention time (27.2 h) for a dietary particle marker (57Co-labelled microspheres) was longer than measured in leaf-eating land crabs. The feeding strategy of B. latro involves the selection of highly digestible and nutrient-rich plant and animal material and retention of the digesta for a period long enough to allow extensive exploitation of storage carbohydrates, lipids, protein and significant amounts of structural carbohydrates (hemicellulose, cellulose and chitin).
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00360-004-0415-7
Field of Research 060604 Comparative Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Springer-Verlag
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008764

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
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