Abstract # 69:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


M. H. Brown1, S. R. Ross1 and H. Ponzter2
1Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA, 2Hunter College, Department of Anthropology
     Energy use varies greatly between species. Much of this variation is related to body mass; larger animals generally require more energy than smaller animals. Apes, however, expend about half the energy expected for placental mammals of their size. Little is known of the factors influencing this remarkably low rate of energy use and how energy expenditure differs between and within ape species. To measure variation in total daily energy expenditure (TEE), we used a multidisciplinary approach that included behavioral observations and an innovative measure of metabolic energy use, the doubly-labeled water method. We sampled 51 subjects from the five ape taxa at eleven institutions, using this noninvasive method, which is easily applied in a zoo setting through positive reinforcement training. We found orangutans had lower TEE for their body size than African apes (p=0.005). Also, physical activity positively correlated with TEE (p=0.01), an effect which was strongest among apes with low to moderate activity levels. The resulting metabolic data holds important welfare implications, as it can be used to calculate caloric needs, activity patterns and body composition for each subject, and can be applied to the management of diets and activity programs. In addition to providing a reference for planning individual-specific care, these data will also contribute to understanding metabolism as it relates to common health problems in captive apes, including obesity and heart disease.