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Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020052

Nutrition of Six Selected Neo-Tropical Mammals in Trinidad and Tobago with the Potential for Domestication

The Open Tropical Forage-Animal Production Laboratory (OTF-APL), Department of Food Production (DFP), Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA), The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
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Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract

This review highlights the available literature on the nutrition of six neo-tropical animals with the potential for domestication—the agouti (Dasyprocta leporina/D. aguti), lappe (Agouti paca), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), manicou/opossum (Didelphis marsupialis insularis), collared peccary (Peccary tajucu) and the red brokcet deer (Mazama americana). Over 100 references were used, spanning over 100 years. The earliest being 1915 and the most recent being 2018. The references used in this review were synthesized to give a detailed look of the dentition, anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract and type of feed these animals consume. Nutritional requirements of the animals are required to understand what is needed for growth, maintenance and reproduction of each physiological stage. The agouti (D. leporina/D. aguti) was observed to be a monogastric mammal that fed primarily on fruits, seeds, animal matter and practiced caecotrophy. The lappe/paca (C. paca/A. paca) was described as a strict herbivore and a frugivore which practiced caecotrophy, with a diet that varied throughout the year, according to food availability. The capybara (H. hydrochaeris) was found to be the largest known rodent and was described as a semiaquatic hindgut fermenter that practiced caecotrophy. The manicou/opossum (D. marsupialis insularis) was found to be an omnivore with a simple stomach. The collared peccary (T. tajacu) was found to be frugivorous. Their unique stomach enabled them to consume a wide variety of feedstuff, allowing them to be found in a wide range of habitats. The red brocket deer (M. americana), a ruminant, was described as a browser that consumed mainly fruits and seeds and they frequented mineral lick. Knowledge of what they consume in the wild is important, so that we know what to feed in captivity. There is also the need to evaluate captive diets while trying to domesticate these mammals and develop nutrient requirement tables for these neo-tropical animals. Finally, an understanding of the dentition and gastrointestinal tract is important to increase efficiency (nutritional and cost). These six neo-tropical mammals were chosen due to their prevalence as game species in Trinidad and Tobago. View Full-Text
Keywords: agouti (Dasyprocta leporina/D. aguti); lappe/paca (Cuniculuspaca/Agouti paca); capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris); manicou/opossum (Didelphis marsupial insularis); collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu); red brocket deer (Mazama americana) agouti (Dasyprocta leporina/D. aguti); lappe/paca (Cuniculuspaca/Agouti paca); capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris); manicou/opossum (Didelphis marsupial insularis); collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu); red brocket deer (Mazama americana)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lall, K.R.; Jones, K.R.; Garcia, G.W. Nutrition of Six Selected Neo-Tropical Mammals in Trinidad and Tobago with the Potential for Domestication. Vet. Sci. 2018, 5, 52.

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