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Feeding Intensity and Food and Energy Requirements in the Midday Gerbil (Meriones meridianus, Gerbillidae, Rodentia) in Captivity

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Studies on the age characteristics of the quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrition and energy of the midday gerbil in captivity showed that the consumption of various types of food ranges from 4.2 to of 7.5 g of dry matter per individual per day, depending on the age of the animals and the quality of the food offered. The absolute dry matter intake reaches the maximum at air humidity levels close to 50–55%. The absolute values of food consumption by adult animals are 1.3–1.5 times higher than those of young ones. The relative level (per 10 g of body weight) of food intake is 1.1–1.3 times, and the relative energy requirements are 1.2–1.5 times higher in young animals than in adults. Considering that the relative energy requirements of young gerbils are higher, while the absolute values of their nutrition are lower than those of adults, they need more nutritious foods in comparison with adults to ensure an energy balance. Consequently, in nature, young animals should be more demanding for food quality, and therefore, any changes in the quantity and quality of food resources will primarily affect the condition and survival of young individuals.

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All biochemical analyses of the composition and energy value of food were carried out by the leading researcher of the Laboratory of Animal Ecology (Caspian Institute of Biological Resources, Far East Federal Research Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Makhachkala) S.M. Gasanova, for which the authors are grateful. The authors are also grateful to Prof. E.I. Naumova (Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) for valuable advice and advisory assistance in preparing the manuscript.


This work was supported by ongoing institutional funding. No additional grants to carry out or direct this particular research were obtained.

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Correspondence to R. R. Omarov.

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All studies on experimental animals were carried out in accordance with the rules for conducting scientific research using experimental animals, approved by the order of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences of April 2, 1980, no. 12000-496 and the order of the USSR Ministry of Higher Education of September 13, 1984, no. 22.


The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Translated by N. Smolina

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Omarov, R.R., Omarov, K.Z. Feeding Intensity and Food and Energy Requirements in the Midday Gerbil (Meriones meridianus, Gerbillidae, Rodentia) in Captivity. Biol Bull Russ Acad Sci 50, 2105–2113 (2023).

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