Volume 29 Issue 1
Jan.  2008
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YANG Sheng-mei, WEI Wan-hong, YIN Bao-fa, FAN Nai-chang, ZHOU Wen-yang. Effects of Food Variation on the Feeding Behavior of the Steppe Polecat Mustela eversmanni. Zoological Research, 2008, 29(1): 78-82.
Citation: YANG Sheng-mei, WEI Wan-hong, YIN Bao-fa, FAN Nai-chang, ZHOU Wen-yang. Effects of Food Variation on the Feeding Behavior of the Steppe Polecat Mustela eversmanni. Zoological Research, 2008, 29(1): 78-82.

Effects of Food Variation on the Feeding Behavior of the Steppe Polecat Mustela eversmanni

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  • Corresponding author: YANG Sheng-mei
  • Received Date: 2007-09-06
  • Rev Recd Date: 2007-11-21
  • Publish Date: 2008-02-22
  • The aim of this paper was to investigate the sensitivity of steppe polecats to starvation risk by comparing their selection to constant and variable food patches under different starvation conditions through the two-choice test in the laboratory. The results showed that food ingestion and frequency of the polecat in constant food patches were higher than that in the variable food patches and time of the polecat was the same between two patches during the training period. Only the frequency of the polecat in constant food patches was higher than that in variable food patches when the polecat was starved for 1 day. Its foraging pattern between the two patches was the same as that during the training period when the polecat was starved for 2 days. Meanwhile, the food ingestion amount in the two patches was not affected by starvation, but the time and frequency of the polecat using the two patches significantly decreased when starvation increased. There was no difference between the polecat’s selections at the constant or variable food patches and the food variation had no influence on the feeding behavior of the polecats. The polecats were not sensitive to variable food under starvation conditions. This was due to the fact that the polecats had low levels of energy metabolism and they conserved energy by decreasing their activity to increase their survival under starvation conditions.
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