Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Gross energy intake (GEI), apparent digestible efficiency (%DE), and body-mass change were studied both in recently weaned and in subadult harp seals fed capelin (Mallotus villosus) and crustaceans (Parathemisto libellula and Thysanoessa sp.) ad lib. The median %DE of Parathemisto libellula (with a wet-weight energy density (ED) of 3.9 kJ/g) and Thysanoessa sp. (ED: 2.3 kJ/g) was 81% and 83%, respectively, while the median %DE of capelin (ED: 8.6 kJ/g) was 94% and 93% for subadult harp seals and one harp seal pup, respectively. No correlation between age and %DE was obtained (P 〉 0.05). Despite ad lib. access to the food, the harp seal pups were unable to maintain body mass while on a crustacean diet, and it is therefore suggested that harp seal pups most likely must supplement their crustacean diets with fish to maintain growth.
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