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#50896 - 07/12/05 10:27 PM Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption
Anonymous
Unregistered


Came across this while researching something else - thought ya'll might like to read it!


Attachments
423694-BanksiaPollen.pdf (102 downloads)


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#50897 - 07/12/05 10:38 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


For some reason I can't view it, Gina.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50898 - 07/12/05 10:45 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I can't view it either. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/offtopic.gif" alt="" /> but love the new pic of you Mikey. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#50899 - 07/12/05 10:50 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hmmm...I just opened it from here & it opened just fine for me. Do you have Adobe 6.0? Lemme go see if I can copy it to a word file or something!

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#50900 - 07/12/05 10:58 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok - this one is hard to read because I had to make it a text doc, but it's better than nothing! Let's just see if it works, you'll hafta tell me because the other one works for me!


Attachments
423710-BanksiaPollen.doc.txt (29 downloads)


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#50901 - 07/13/05 01:43 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks, Gina. I'll have to read it over when I have more free time tonight. It looks very detailed and objective! I do know pollen is a fairly significant portion of a wild glider's diet, and I think it's great that folks like Big_Ern have incorporated it into their captive glider diets. Excellent find!

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/offtopic.gif" alt="" /> HAHA! Thanks, Split's_Mom! *wink* <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> I'll try to open my eyes next time.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50902 - 07/13/05 07:47 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Very interesting study! Now I have some other reference to quote other than Ian Hume's Marsupial Nutrition the next time some one doubts the significance of pollen in wild glider diets.

The part that interested me the most was this reference:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Furthermore, laboratory
studies have demonstrated that at least three mammal
species (P breviceps, S australis and the Amencan
microchiropteran bat, Leptonycteris sanbornu) were
able to mamtain nitrogen balance on diets m which
pollen was the only protein source (Howell 1974, Smith
and Green 1987, Law 1992b).

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

This means then that gliders are capable of gaining their complete protein requirements from pollen grains alone (in this case from Banksia sp. pollen but still pollen)! Thus, for those that are looking for alternative protein sources other than "gross" bugs and chicken/turkey meat, there's your option!

Whether applying this to our captive glider diets will prove beneficial in the long run, we have yet to discover but atleast we know that gliders can obtain their necessary protein requirements from pollen alone (at least for temporary periods of time).

This also entails then that pollen contains all of a glider's essential amino acids, which in a former thread started by CharlieH was discussed. We have yet to find (around here anyways) what the exact essential amino acids are for Petaurus breviceps and I think if we can find somewhere which amino acids exist in pollen, I think we can have a rough idea as to what the glider essential amino acids are. I know the chemical composition for pollen grains from different species are accordingly different, but again I think we could get a rough idea as to what specfic amino acids gliders require and can absorb readily...

...and that my friends, is EXCITING SCIENCE <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/exclamation.gif" alt="" />

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

[:"red"]PS - Big_Ern sells samples of pollen for feeding to your gliders, so be sure to visit his website for that and for Acacia Gum samples: http://www.theglidernest.com/gliderneststore.html . His gliders have shown positive signs of vitality and health, and I feel it is due in part to his diet (which favours the incorporation of natural foodstuffs).[/]

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#50903 - 07/14/05 03:30 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


lol, ha! Mikey thanks for the plug <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Here is a handy little guide that I ran across online when researching pollen. It has the very values which you speak of <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
This guide details the amino acid content of a zillion pollen samples from a variety of tree types from different areas in Australia. Fun stuff, lol.
You can download it by clicking HERE!

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#50904 - 07/14/05 08:18 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hmmm... Well, looks like Banksia contains 17 of the 20 amino acids (especially Aspartic acid, Glutamic acid, and Proline and this seems to be the case with all pollen from all the species sampled in the study, and asparagine, tytrophan, and glutamine seem to be ommitted from the list) and offers our gliders 28.6% crude protein which is a very high figure compared to crickets (21.3% protein), mealworms (20.7% protein), superworms (17.4% protein), and waxworms (15.5% protein).

Anyway, how we go about determining the exact essential amino acids from that list, I haven't a clue, but at least we know that the list is from that list of 17.

Very nice, Ern! Thanks!

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50905 - 07/14/05 08:49 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
These are interesting studies but one must take a second look at the tables that are in the link by Monster. While the study was of fecal matter the results can be very deceptive if especially when they are not compared to the gliders intake. In tables a and b it makes me wonder how the pollen count can be so high in comparison to the other plant parts if the glider was consuming the whole flower. And in table c the amount of invertebrate parts is very high. Not sure this is information that would be useful in formulating a diet for a sugar glider. Even though the study shows that the glider is capable of breaking down 66% of the pollen it eats there is no way of making a comparison as to how much should be included in the diet. Also if you go by the tables you get the indication that the gliders diet should be in the range of 60 to 80 per cent protein source.

This study focuses on the Baksia pollen in an isolated area. It may be an acceptable study of how these different animals metabolize the Baksia pollen but I think the analysis of the over all diet is lacking. Would be interested to see what others have to say.
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50906 - 07/15/05 10:34 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, as always, I'm sure a little mathematics could answer that concern. Gotta love ratios! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

The BML diet offers a total of 1.5 grams of crude protein daily. If Banksia pollen is 28.6% crude protein then an average glider would require (assuming we're going to match BML values):

28.6%/100% = 1.5 grams/x grams
x = 5.25 grams of Banksia pollen

Thus, if we're matching the BML diet protein provisions, one would add 5.25 grams of Banksia pollen to the glider bowl each day (per glider).

Now, if you know the species of pollen in use, simply change the 28.6% with the corresponding protein percentage figure of the particular species (found in Ern's attachment) and work out the math from there.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50907 - 07/15/05 04:55 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Mikey I think you forgot to factor in that only 66% of the Baksia pollen is broken down in the gliders system.

I am not convinced that the fecal study is a very good indication of a gliders diet. Seems like a rather shallow study to me. Although the researchers were thorough in what they did I still think the test would have to be more controlled so that a researcher would also know exact what and the volume of each item consumed and then balance it against the fecal sample. Also I am still not convinced that the gliders are not after the nectar of the flowers and the ingestion of the pollen is simply part of the process of getting at the nectar. For example if a snake swallows a mouse that has just eaten grain and you take a fecal sample of the snake it would show to have grain in it. That does not make grain an essential part of the snakes diet. Think about it. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nixweiss.gif" alt="" />
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50908 - 07/16/05 01:04 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Pollen is pretty sweet too, have you ever eaten it?
My gliders love it.....

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#50909 - 07/16/05 10:58 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hmmmmm, maybe I should buy pollen from you next time ern - my pollen is nasty!

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#50910 - 07/16/05 10:09 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


My mother use to take bee pollen alot. I always hate the smell and taste of it. It taste nasty in my opinion

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#50911 - 07/17/05 01:57 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I see what you're saying, Charlie, but...

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Also I am still not convinced that the gliders are not after the nectar of the flowers and the ingestion of the pollen is simply part of the process of getting at the nectar. For example if a snake swallows a mouse that has just eaten grain and you take a fecal sample of the snake it would show to have grain in it. That does not make grain an essential part of the snakes diet. Think about it.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Pollen and gliders would be different from this example because in the studies (not only the one Monster has provided) there is an absorption of pollen occuring. In other words, less pollen comes out than goes in. In the case of the grain/mouse example, should the snake be aborbing the indirectly ingested grains to a significant degree, then yes, it should be concluded that the grain within the gut of the prey is an essential part of the snake's nutritional requirement (which is the case with all predator/prey relationships; it's why we gut-load our bugs before feeding our insectivorous pets). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> It would be like saying, "because gliders don't particularly feed on calcium carbonate crystals, calcium isn't really a significant part of a glider's diet; it just so happens that it exists in the food they consume". Such a statement ofcourse is invalid, and pollen like calcium is absorbed by the gliders extracted from the food ingested.

In the past, I have cited the various raferences in regards to gliders abosrbing pollen (again from field studies performed by various folks mostly in Oz) from their diet, and utilizing the provided protein to maintain normal nitrogen levels, even preferring it as a protein source over insects in some seasons!

Here's a reminder of just that (from an old post a few months back):


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
For future references, for any doubting the significance of pollen in wild glider diets, I've included some references from studies on wild gliders and their wild diets...

"...In [New South Wales], the most observed foraging behaviour was of feeding at Banksia and Eucalyptus flowers for nectar and pollen. All feces collected in summer, winter and spring had pollen in them... Eucalypt pollen was found mainly in summer, where as Banksia pollen occured during winter, corresponding with the main flowering periods of the two genera..." (Marsupial Nutrition, Ian D Hume 1999, pg 100)

A reference referring to the importance of pollen as an important protein source for gliders...

"Arthropods (beetles, moths, and spiders) were an important food item also in autumn, when pollen availability was lowest..." (Ian D. Hume, pg 101)

Ooop... Here's another one...

"...Pollen, which was available most of the year, appeared to be preferred, even in summer when arthropods were presumably abundant. When visiting flowers, sugar gliders can obtain both protein and energy by foraging on both pollen and nectar. On average 34% of eucalyptus pollen and 71% of Banksia pollen in feces was devoid of contents indicating that sugar gliders could access the contents of pollen grains as a source of protein (Howard 1989). Van Tets & Whelan (1997) found similar proportion (66%) of Banksia pollen grains in the feces of sugar gliders near Wollongong, south of Sydney, to be empty..." (Ian D. Hume, pg. 101)

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Such stuff can't be disregarded, I think.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50912 - 07/17/05 02:31 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Also, if that is that case, and gliders digest 66% of the pollen then proportional mathematics can still calculate an amount:

66%/100%=5.25 grams/x
x= ca. 8 grams

Thus, about 8 grams of pollen would be added daily to meet protein needs (matching the protein provisions of the BML diet, that is) of one glider.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50913 - 07/17/05 06:18 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
There are several members here who have a lot of faith in these so called 'scientific diet studies' of wild glider diets. When I see gross discrepancies in the results of the studies it makes me wonder. From Mikey's post he posted from Hume's book:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
"...Pollen, which was available most of the year, appeared to be preferred, even in summer when arthropods were presumably abundant

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Go back and look at the charts provided by Gina and you will see that only two charts a & d show that there was more pollen present in the gliders feces. Both of these charts are for the period of March through June only of different years. During the other eight months of the year the invertebrate parts were higher in the feces. This is in direct contrast with what Hume has to say. When I see these conflicting results in similar tests it makes me question the accuracy of the information.

As far as the tests that show that gliders can survive with pollen as a sole source of protein. They could probably survive with peanut butter as a sole source. But surviving and thriving are two entirely different things. I know a man who was raising hogs. He got a contract with a dairy to get all of their waste cows milk to feed to his hogs. Very little additional feed was added to the milk. The hogs thrived, were roly poly fat and had beautiful coats. Then one day their intestines started coming out their rectums. Almost all of the young hogs died. This is just an example of how animal diets can be deceiving.
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50914 - 07/17/05 09:33 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
As far as the tests that show that gliders can survive with pollen as a sole source of protein. They could probably survive with peanut butter as a sole source. But surviving and thriving are two entirely different things. I know a man who was raising hogs. He got a contract with a dairy to get all of their waste cows milk to feed to his hogs. Very little additional feed was added to the milk. The hogs thrived, were roly poly fat and had beautiful coats. Then one day their intestines started coming out their rectums. Almost all of the young hogs died. This is just an example of how animal diets can be deceiving.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

I hear ya, Charlie, but remember, from the studies of gliders surviving off pollen exclusively, it's a yearly pattern, having occurred for millions of years during the evolution of Petaurus breviceps. It's not like the isolated event where your friend offered bad feed to his swine. The studies show that pollen consumption and utilization is an integral part of their behaviour and hence their diet.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Go back and look at the charts provided by Gina and you will see that only two charts a & d show that there was more pollen present in the gliders feces. Both of these charts are for the period of March through June only of different years. During the other eight months of the year the invertebrate parts were higher in the feces. This is in direct contrast with what Hume has to say. When I see these conflicting results in similar tests it makes me question the accuracy of the information.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Untrue, Charlie. For one thing, if you go back and have a second look at the charts provided by Gina, you may notice that it's only Banksia pollen amounts in particular that the study was looking at. However, according to Humes, Banksia pollen was very abundant in feces of the gliders primarily during the winter months, while Eucaplypt pollen was more abundant in the feces of the summer months, corresponding with the main flowering periods of the two genera (Humes, 1999, pg. 100). Gliders typically don't feed on the flowers of a single species throughout the year, and the species and pollen of choice is dependent on availability, i.e. the flowering periods of the species. I'm sure if the graphs in Gina's pollen study included all species of pollen (and not just Banksia) found in the feces there would be no conflict in data that you speak of, Charlie.

Second, you must understand that a greater amount of mass insects than mass pollen found in the feces doesn't indicate that insects are a more important or favoured source of protein than pollen is. Actually, it could and likely does mean the exact opposite! The gliders may be absorbing a high percentage of the pollen while passing any undigested pollen (remember pollen's high protein percentage and high digestibility factor), whereas the insects may not be as readily absorbed by the gliders digestively and hence have more insects found in the droppings. In fact, exactly this is discussed and proven in Hume's study on page 101. The point is, it doesn't necessarily mean that gliders consumed less pollen than insects if you find more insects in the droppings than pollen.

Third, Humes does not say that the gliders consumed a greater amount of pollen than arthropods year-round. That's a misinterpretation. In Hume's study the word "preferred" describes a greater observed feeding time (meaning the gliders were observed foraging for pollen/flowers for a greater total period of time than foraging for insects; there is no indication of pollen/insect mass amounts). There's a very helpful chart on pg. 100 that helps visualize this preference, and greater periods of feeding on arthropods over flowers/pollen occurs only in the autumn months when pollen availability was lowest.

Overall, the two scientific studies (The one presented by Gina and Hume's 1999 publication) are consistent and are just that - scientific and objective. One must be very careful when interpretting and applying the results of studies.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50915 - 07/17/05 11:33 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"blue"]Well said Mikey! These studies are NOT shallow or lacking. Between the various studies, these researchers followed multiple species for over a year in their natural environs, and analysed BOTH time spent foraging and fecal contents. The fecal analysis is a rigorous way to determine diet, esp. in terms of bugs and pollen that are never fully digested and leave evidence of their passing,as would "the entire flower" IF the gliders were eating them. Being that there is so little cellulose found it appears that nectar and pollen are the target of any "flower-feeding" that is observed, and the little plant matter ingested is most likely eaten while they're actually trying to get nectar/pollen. My observations in my home even confirm these studies, my gliders tear their braches/flowers apart, and end up eating a little, but they're really after the nectar and pollen, and I can see this by what's left over in the cage tray or tent floor: lots of plant matter, almost no pollen or nectar/sap.

Charlie-I find it interesting that while challenging the legitimacy of these feeding studies, you didn't offer alternative methods of deciding what constitutes the correct diet, other than anecdotal "hog-tales". The experience of long-time glider keepers is a great resource to GC, but only if there is some kind of objective structure to the way feeding is accomplished and the results measured. We can't just say that one's gliders appear to be doing well, or live a long time, or breed, and thus their diet is good. As you said, there's a difference between suviving and thriving, and without these studies (not just in terms of gliders, but all health issues, for all living things) all of our choices are arbitrary and subjective, and that's building a house on sand. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/worried2.gif" alt="" />

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#50916 - 07/18/05 05:12 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Then what you guys are saying is that according to these 'scientific studies' all a glider needs as a protein source is pollen. And maybe throw in a few insects. Add a few eucalyptus leaves and you have a complete sugar glider diet.

Escuse me but I think I will stick with the 'non-scientific' captive glider diets. Good luck with your gliders on the new 'scientific diet'. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50917 - 07/18/05 05:43 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


As I see it, scientists have studied gliders, and from there developed the diets we know and use today. However, scientists and researchers never stop studying--they always want to learn more and more information. All of the newer studies cannot be written off, just because we are comfortable with the information we already know from past studies. We NEED to learn more, for the sake of our gliders. I know that gliders seem to do well on the captive diets, but we should not stop studying them. It is worth the time for glider enthusiasts to research and formulate a diet that is a little closer to their wild diet. We should not stop where we are now, in terms of glider care--it is just not human nature! People always want to learn everything there is to know, so scientists--continue the research. Some of us are interested in the new information you will find:o)

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#50918 - 07/18/05 07:41 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok, I'm going to use a Koala Bear as an example here. In the wild - a Koala eats only the leaves of a few select species of eucalypts, it does not drink any water because it receives all the moisture it needs from the plant matter it consumes. However, if you were to look at a Koala in captivity, you would see it being fed a Leadbeaters formula and being offered water. Given it's natural diet, doesn't that seem ridiculous? As humans, we try to force upon animals that which we find normal or appropriate; however, sometimes, it just doesn't fit. As a general rule of thumb, don't make anything harder than it has to be. This means to me - if nature intended it, then it was done for a reason.

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#50919 - 07/18/05 08:50 AM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow, Gina. I didn't know that. It's interesting how humans have come to perceive the Leatbeater's formula as some generic mixture which provides a roundabout set of essential nutritents, and though it may do so and serve it's function, like you said, "It's just not the same". It's why zoos have attemtped to find a happy medium, and it truly is unfortunate that many of us (here in North America) don't have access to the materials that zoos in Australia have in abundance.

It's the advantage of incorporating the arthropods (crickets, mealworms, beetles, moths, aphids, etc), and the flowers, and the acacia gums set in holes in the wood, and the pollen sprinkled over the food; feeding time can at least allow for natural feeding behaviours to occur.

Could you imagine if much of our food was blended in a blender (even if it was made to taste good) and we couldn't enjoy the tasty feeling of biting into a fresh steak, or dipping into a yummy flavour of icecream, or the sliding of a succulent lobstertail out from within the shell (*drooling*), or picking at a bowl full of cherries or strawberries? It's such little things that count. It's part of our very nature to engage in dynamic and active eating, as much as it is for the gliders.

To me that's the distinction between surviving and thriving! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50920 - 07/18/05 02:23 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Becky, some of us are and have been doing exactly what you suggest. Ever since there have been captive gliders in the US we have been studying and researching diets in the quest to develop a captive diet. We are attempting to develop diets that have readily available ingredients that gliders can thrive on. Simply because a diet does not contain native flora and ingredients doe not mean it is not a good diet. We have come a long way with the development of captive glider diets. And I agree that research should continue. But this does not mean we should regress back into a diet that probably isn't healthy simply because it contains some of the natural ingredients. Trying to take gliders back to the natural diets of the wild would be like trying to take humans back to the diets of Neanderthal man. The diets we feed our domestic animals are by far better than what they would eat if left to forage for themselves in the wild. Same is true for our captive gliders. I say research and progress not research and regress.
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50921 - 07/18/05 04:17 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
And I agree that research should continue. But this does not mean we should regress back into a diet that probably isn't healthy simply because it contains some of the natural ingredients. Trying to take gliders back to the natural diets of the wild would be like trying to take humans back to the diets of Neanderthal man. The diets we feed our domestic animals are by far better than what they would eat if left to forage for themselves in the wild.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Charlie, it astounds me how you approach the issue like we've been captivating gliders in North America for eons. Like "Taking humans back to Neandrathal man"?! LOL. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" /> Gliders have been under our captivity in this continent for no more than 20 to 30 years!

I whole- <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> edly agree that we've come a very long way in formulating captive diets that don't incorporate natural flora (God bless the soul of pioneers like Bourbon <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frostyangel.gif" alt="" /> !), but the fact is these man-made captive diets are still relatively biologically foreign to our gliders' specialized digestive systems (if only I could post the long chapter in Marsupial Nutrition where Humes describes in depth the details of the glider digestive tract and ailamentary canal from mastication to caecum) which have been designed to break down specific native materials, and this is why many on here feel this way.

No significant amount of microevolution occurs over a period of 30 years, and so we can't say that gliders have "adapted" in a truly scientific sense to these artificial diets we've created and sustained the few generations on... like really... 30 years vs. millions of years - must I make another model? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
The diets we feed our domestic animals are by far better than what they would eat if left to forage for themselves in the wild.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

This statement may be your opinion, Charlie, but with all due respect if you're trying to say that the nutrition provided by the vast variety of Australian/Indonesian tropical arthropods/vertebrates (and all the digested flora/fauna in their gut), the gums, nectars, flowers, pollens, the manna, and saps, honeydew, and other botanical exudates (from the various species) is somehow inferior to the nutrition provided by any of the artificial glider diets (i.e. no native flora but instead a mix of readily available mostly processed, storeable ingredients), then surely you gest!!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Have you seen a wild glider? I've always wondered why they differed in overall body mass and plumpness. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#50922 - 07/18/05 04:25 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"blue"]Actually, the diets we feed our livestock are far WORSE for their long-term health (AND possibly ours) than anything they would naturally consume. These animals are fed for SLAUGHTER, which means they're fed to get as big as possible (meat is sold by weight) as fast as possible (time is money), and then be killed, usually at age 2 or less when the meat is most tender. Many herbivorous animals (cows! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />) are fed meat, which they cannot digest properly, to fatten them up faster. This practice occurs in cattle, swine, and fowl and is directly responsible for "mad cow" or prion diseases of the brain and nervous system! These are not "healthy" diets in any way, they are the best diets for the overall industry to give consumers what "we" want out of our food=quick & cheap & full of flavor. There are of course exceptions, but the vast majority of the USA's livestock production is along those lines. See "Fast Food Nation" if you want gruesome details.

As far as "pets": dogs & cats are descendant from scavenger animals than came around human settlements in order to eat our trash, and became our companions thousands of years ago. They're very different than gliders, and have been adapting to being with us for much longer. They actually have GENES that allow them to be tamed, and they probably weren't doing too well in the wild or they would not have been desperate enough to come near mankind. The ancestor species of our domestics live in Africa to this day, but these wild dogs and cats do not and cannot survive as scavengers, and so are endangered.

Even now, our pets eat "better" only if they eat scientifically formulated and tested diets. And, these diets are only "better" for animals that don't have to survive on their own, hunting and foraging. There are many commercial pet foods available that ARE NOT scientific, but rather "taste" good to cats/dogs and are cheaper, and are not in fact healthier than their wild cousins' diets.

There is very little FDA control of food intended for pets. They require only "guaranteed analysis", but there is no federal mandate for the nutrient profiles, or ingredients, or claims of "completeness". This is why the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and the Association of American Feed Control Officials have adopted nutrient profiles and standards of testing that must be completed before they'll put their seals of approval on pet foods.

One of the most common problems with pet animals in the US is they're OVERWEIGHT and suffer all of the associated health problems. Humans think our pets need/like what we need/like: variety and great taste (which usually comes from sugar or fat), but the truth is some do and some really really DON'T, but we wouldn't know that except for the biologists that have observed them in the wild, the vets who monitor them now, and the owners that care enough to work with them for the best interests of their pets <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />.

Objectivity, through scientific study, not emotional wish fulfillment. If we, as humans, could do that consistently, we wouldn't smoke, drink, or eat junk food, and we'd be fit and active and suffer little health consequence other than those beyond our control (genetic, congenital, accidental). But we can't or at least don't always, and partially that's because we DO understand the risks and are making choices based on quality of life/enjoyment, rather than long life. Our pets can't make those choices, and as stewards we have to do our best to make the right ones for them.

Some domestic pets are true generalists, and could survive on almost anything (e.g.rats), but we are still told by our vets to feed them scientifically formulated diets, because we're trying to get them to do something TOTALLY UNNATURAL: live a long time. Wild animals don't live long, most are eaten by something else before they ever have to worry about the problems of maintaining health into old age. But in order to live long, we have to be sure they're getting the nutrition they have evolved to utilize over millions of years.

We are not descendant from Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neanderthalis), they're an offshoot that went extinct. But to address the true point, there is a large body of research into ancient hunter-gatherer humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) that says their way of life (diet, exercise, community) was actually physically healthier, less stressful and left them more leisure time than Americans enjoy today (what happened to all that technology making our lives easier?! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />). Our long lives now are credited to medicine to treat diseases and injuries, and lack of predators, not lifestyle.

Other than those, mostly rodent, generalists, the other animals kept as pets in the US, especially anything that is considered "exotic", has feeding guidelines set out in veterinary texts that are the result of 1. Wild diet observations 2. Zoo/animal husbandry data 3. Newer data gathered from veterinarians, both in their practices and in clinical studies as they get more and more experience with the animals.

What you don't see on that list is "breeders". Is that b/c all breeders feed the wrong thing? Absolutely not. But many do, because the focus of some breeders, (especially of the "back yard" variety in dogs & cats), is lots of "purebred" babies to sell in a short time, with little regard for the long term health of the individual or the breed. They subsequently breed their animals too close, and feed them diets suited to reproduction, not health. This is not to say all breeders are of this frame of mind, many are dedicated and responsible, and care deeply for their animals. But the goals of the endeavor are such that it makes for a very bad source of data about diet and health. vets see purebreds mostly to treat breed-specific and inbreeding/puppy milling-related problems. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Lastly, I AGREE that a diet that does not literally contain native flora/fauna is not necessarily bad. But if your diet does not at least contain GOOD approximations of the nutrients & ratios contained therein, then it is a poor choice. Also, it's not just about what "fuel" is going into their guts, it's about activity, emotional/mental fulfillment. I am not deluding myself (or my gliders, they know what's up!) they are not living the same life they would in the wild. But with their scientific diet, made with almost all READILY AVAILABLE ingredients (from my local home depot & fred meyer, which is like super kmart or walmart, though you can also get it all online) & enrichment, they're living a more enjoyable, safer one. I have 7 healthy gliders (joey Gracie just passed 50 g!) and one on the way, and the wild side is suiting them just fine. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" />


BTW: A great reference for the facts about pet nutrition is "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition" by Hand & Novotny, published by the Mark Morris Veterinary Institute, and available at amazon, though I found my copy at a used bookstore. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" />

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#50923 - 07/18/05 06:08 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
We have several gliders in the age range of from 8 to 12 years. One that will be 15 next month. These gliders are all healthy and happy. They were raised without the benefit of any of the items from the wild glider diet. And they do not appear to be stressed because their lives were not fulfilled with the enrichment of chasing insects. The only problem I can see with any of them is that they are mostly a little over weight because of a caretaker with a big heart that has a tendency to over feed. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> These gliders were bred in captivity, born in captivity and have lived in captivity and have always been fed a captive glider diet with all the components coming from here in the US. And I might add that many of these gliders came to us with health problems due to improper diets.

I can not tell you what the perfect sugar glider diet should consist of. But neither can your scientists that have done the isolated studies on sugar glider diets. What we have learned is that we can nurse gliders back to health in most cases and keep them healthy. One of the Australian zoos once told a student client of ours that the zoo did not really concern themselves with sick gliders. The person told this student that there were plenty of gliders available in Australia so if one died it was easily replaced. I feel that our gliders, even the ones that have had health issues in the past, are as healthy and stress free as the gliders in any zoo foreign or domestic. And this is the result of interacting with and exchanging information with other experienced glider owners. We have had help and advice from our vets but very little of the information provided by the so called scientific studies of wild gliders and their diets has been of any value.
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50924 - 07/18/05 08:10 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I would be so very healthy if I DID eat the same things the Neanderthal Man ate, lol!! No more potato chips, layer cake, doughnuts (aaahhhh), chocolate, soda pop, etc.--nothing that tastes great. Just meat, greens, fruits, water, ah, such a healthy diet. We all could take a lesson on nutrition from early man.

I feed BML just like lots of others here. Today I just caught some Japanese Beetles for my gliders to play with tonight. Captive diets are great, but they can always be improved upon. The glider diets we use today will be laughed at tomorrow, because something better will come along. We'll just have to wait and see!

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#50925 - 07/18/05 09:21 PM Re: Study on Wild Glider Pollen Consumption [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
I can not tell you what the perfect sugar glider diet should consist of. But neither can your scientists that have done the isolated studies on sugar glider diets.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Awww, Charlie... correction: our scientists. Also, I don't think the scietific studies are designed to determine a proper captive diet. The studies only seek to discover what the studies are designed for and can give us useful peices of information that we are left to evaluate, assess, and apply. I suppose we can choose to ignore the results of the studies, just as regular cigarette smokers and alchohol drinkers can choose to ignore the results of smoking and alcohol studies. Perhaps that diet study sponsored by GC will be of help soon!

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
We have had help and advice from our vets but very little of the information provided by the so called scientific studies of wild gliders and their diets has been of any value.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

It's because I've found the problem is that some in the glider community aren't as open to the idea of enriching their diets with natural/native alternatives (which is fine), and even go so far as shunning the idea (which is not fine). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I've never before in my involvement with any integral animal husbandry community come across the type of retalliation against the findings of biological dietary scientific discovery (despite the fact that some of the studies have been standardized, accepted, and used as references in Marsupialogy for over 20 years, especially in Oz) in all my years as I've seen within the glider community*. What gets me is that these people haven't even read <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" /> hallmark publications like Marsupial Nutrition which are readily available online through purchase at sites like Amazon.com, and still feel they are in a good position to attack the ideas proposed by the studies. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> I feed my <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" /> a standardized designer diet (BML diet) but I don't think it would be right to undermine the scientific studies or in the least not attempt to apply some of what the studies tell us (or should I say "have been telling us for years").

*Not that I'm complaining, as I also feel the glider community happens to be one of the most personal animal communities, as well. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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