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OttersEcology, behaviour and conservation$
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Hans Kruuk

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198565871

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198565871.001.0001

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(p.99) Chapter 7 Diet

Hans Kruuk

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes methods of diet analysis, including the major inaccuracies resulting from faecal analyses. The food composition of all species is discussed in some detail, including food intake in weight and calories. All species are fish eaters, and for most fishes are the dominant prey. Exceptions are the sea otter and the clawless/small-clawed species, taking mostly invertebrates (large crustaceans); the sea otter, predominantly sea urchins and molluscs. Fish species taken are often slow, bottom-living ones. Diets of males and females, where studied, tend to be different. There are differences in diets between otter species, noticeable especially when several are sympatric. Most species consume a daily amount of 15-20% of their body weight, the sea otter 20-30%.

Keywords:   diet, faecal analyses, prey species, calorific content, male/female difference

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