Basal energy metabolism of mustelids
- Cite this article as:
- Iversen, J.A. J. Comp. Physiol. (1972) 81: 341. doi:10.1007/BF00697754
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Oxygen consumption was measured during sleep in seven species of mustelids. Their body weight ranged from 50 g to 15 kg. When basal metabolic rate (BMR) was plotted against weight on logarithmic coordinates (Fig. 1), a break in the linearity appeared at a weight level of about one kg. In species with a body weight below one kg, the regression line of BMR against weight is best represented by the equation M = 95.8W0.55 (±0.03; standard error of estimate) where M is basal metabolic rate in kcal/day and W is body weight in kg. The equation M = 84.6 W0.78 (±0.15) describes the relationship of animals weighing one kg or more, indicating that the BMR is proportional to almost the same fractional power of body weight, 0.75, as that of other mammals. The high BMR observed in weasels and stoats, suggests that a metabolic adjustment has occurred in the smaller species of the mustelid family.