Field metabolic rate in two species of shrew-tenrec, Microgale dobsoni and M. talazaci

P. J. Stephenson*, J. R. Speakman, P. A. Racey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Doubly labelled water (DLW) was used to determine field metabolic rate (FMR) in the shrew-tenrecs Microgale dobsoni and M. talazaci. Measures were obtained on six animals in their natural habitat and on five individuals in captivity. Mean FMR for nonreproducing M. dobsoni (mean body mass 42.6 ± 1.7 g) was 77.1 ± 3.2 kJ/d (CV = 53.7%, N = 4), 3.8 times resting metabolic rate (RMR). Mean FMR for nonreproducing M. talazaci (mean body mass 42.8 ± 4.9 g) was 66.5 ± 14.1 kJ/d (CV = 51.9%, N = 6), 3.2 times RMR. FMR within each species was not significantly correlated with body mass. This may in part reflect the large variation among individuals combined with the small sample size. FMR in shrew-tenrecs was within the range of FMR found in similar sized rodents, although variation was greater in the tenrecs. The high variability of FMR within the Tenrecidae may be a result of variations in body temperature. FMR/RMR ratios for both species fell within the range determined for other small mammals. The present study therefore offers further evidence to support a relationship between FMR and RMR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1994


  • Doubly labelled water
  • M. talazaci
  • Metabolic rate
  • Microgale dobsoni


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