New Directions in Lemur Studies

pp 83-91

Field Metabolic Rate and the Cost of Ranging of the Red-Tailed Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur Ruficaudatus)

  • Sonja DrackAffiliated withTierphysiologie, Universität Marburg
  • , Sylvia OrtmannAffiliated withTierphysiologie, Universität Marburg
  • , Nathalie BührmannAffiliated withZoologie, Universität Giessen
  • , Jutta SchmidAffiliated withDeutsches Primatenzentrum
  • , Ruth D. HeldmaierAffiliated withDeutsches Primatenzentrum
  • , Gerhard HeldmaierAffiliated withTierphysiologie, Universität Marburg
  • , Jörg U. GanzhornAffiliated withDeutsches Primatenzentrum Email author 

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The goal of this study was to describe energy expenses of free ranging Lepilemur ruficaudatus during the dry season in the deciduous forest of western Madagascar. Since all lemur species measured so far have had very low resting metabolic rates (RMR) and some lemur species can go into daily or prolonged torpor, the question was, whether or not resting metabolic rates can be used to predict field metabolic rates (FMR) in lemurs. Doubly-labeled water measurements of FMR in 11 free-ranging L. ruficaudatus showed that these animals had FMR of about 65.6% of the values expected for FMR of eutherian herbivores of similar body mass (mean mass = 723 g). FMR was on average 2.6-3.1 times higher than RMR that had been measured previously as 63.6% of the expected value for RMR of eutherian mammals of similar body mass. The ratio of FMR/RMR matches the ratio found in other eutherian mammals and is consistent with the idea that FMR is a constant multiple of RMR for eutherian mammals over a wide range of body mass. FMR augmented with increasing range size. The present data do not provide evidence that the costs of locomotion were energetically limiting for L.ruficaudatus.