2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Digestive Efficiency of a Generalist Predator: The Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon)
Douglas R. Elliott II
Dr. Chad Montgomery, Faculty Mentor

Digestive efficiency (DE) is an important component of an animal's physiology that affects the amount of energy an organism can acquire from a meal and dedicate to work. DE relates the amount of the energy ingested in a meal to the amount of energy absorbed from the meal ({Energyingested - Energyfeces ) / Energyingested}. DE is affected by a number of environmental and morphological parameters, including temperature, body size, meal size, and prey quality. Because the feces include components in addition to undigested materials (e.g. bacteria and intestinal sloughing) DE is more appropriately termed apparent digestive efficiency (ADE). I measured ADE in 10 wild-caught northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon sipedon) in response to feeding on different meal sizes of fish, a common prey item of this species in the field.

Keywords: digestive physiology, physiological ecology, digestive efficiency, physiology, ecology, digestion, water snake, herpetology


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 10-10
Location: PML
Time: 4:15

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