Prey envenomation does not improve digestive performance in Taiwanese pit vipers (Trimeresurus gracilis and T. stejnegeri stejnegeri)

in Sciences Citation Index(SCI), 科學引文索引資料庫(SCI)
標題Prey envenomation does not improve digestive performance in Taiwanese pit vipers (Trimeresurus gracilis and T. stejnegeri stejnegeri)
出版類型SCI(Sciences Citation Index)
出版年度2009
AuthorsChia-Wei Chu, 朱家蔚, Tein-Shun Tsai 蔡添順, Inn-Ho Tsai 蔡蔭和, Yao-Sung Lin 林耀松, & Ming-Chung Tu 杜銘章
開始頁579
頁數6
出版日期2009 / 1
其他編號0000
中文摘要

Although the toxic properties of snake venoms have been recognized throughout history, very little is known about the adaptive significance of these powerful mixtures. This study examined the popular hypothesis that prey envenomation enhances digestion by influencing the energetic costs of digestion and assimilation, gut passage time, and. apparent assimilation efficiency (ASSIM) in western diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox), a species whose venom is recognized for its comparatively high proteolytic activities. A complete randomized block design allowed repeated measures of specific dynamic action and gut passage time to be measured in eight snakes ingesting four feeding treatments (i.e., artificially envenomated live mice, artificially envenomated prekilled mice, saline injected live mice, and saline injected prekilled mice). A second experiment measured ASSIM in eight snakes ingesting a series of six artificially envenomated or six saline injected mice meals over an 8-week period. Contrary to expectations, the results of both these experiments revealed that envenomation had no significant influence on any of the measured digestive performance variables. Gut passage time averaged 6 days and ASSIM averaged 79.1%. Twenty-one hours following ingestion, postprandial metabolic rates exhibited factorial increases that averaged 3.9-fold greater than resting metabolic rate. Specific dynamic action lasted on average 88 hr and accounted for 26% of the total ingested energy. The results of this study reinforce the need to systematically examine the potential adaptive advantages that venoms confer on the snakes that produce them.

期刊名稱Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology
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