Basal metabolism of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and the Siberian polecat (M. eversmannii)
Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) and Siberian polecats (M. eversmannii) are medium-sized (about 1 kg) mustelids with similar ecological and morphological characteristics. We measured basal metabolic rates (BMR) for both species. In contrast with the commonly stated belief that mustelids have relatively high mass-specific BMR, neither the BMR of ferrets nor that of polecats in winter was greater than standard allometric predictions for all mammals. As suggested by previous authors, we believe that our relatively lower measurements for BMR are due to our efforts to minimize stress during the experimental procedure. These results support the contention that BMR in mustelids is no different from what is expected of mammals of this body mass. Seasonal differences were found in polecat BMR (higher in summer) but not in ferret BMR. Reasons for this interspecific difference may relate to differences in natural histories of these species.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Basal metabolism of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and the Siberian polecat (M. eversmannii)|
|Series title||Journal of Mammalogy|
|Publisher||American Society of Mammalogists|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|