The Evolution and Expression of Salt Appetite

  • Jay Schulkin
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 105)


Bunge some time ago suggested that herbivores, rather than carnivores, are under selective pressure to show an appetite for salt; he thought the appetite was for potassium and not sodium salts1. More recently Denton has substantively elaborated on the notion that there are selective pressures on herbivores for special behavioral salt homeostatic mechanisms; but the appetite is geared towards sodium and not potassium. In elegant ecological studies it has been shown that rabbits and kangaroos emerge from areas of depleted sodium resources to ingest salt from implanted salt licks elsewhere. Moreover, many kinds of herbivorous mammals are known to migrate great distances to ingest from salt licks, or other sources of sodium, when sodium sources in their grazing pastures are depleted (see 2 for review).


Herbivorous Mammal Tiger Salamander Salty Taste Grazing Pasture Salt Lick 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Schulkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Neurological SciencesUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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