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Blood plasma glucose regulation in Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat.

Author(s): Bablawa Mqokeli | Colleen T Downs

Journal: African Zoology
ISSN 1562-7020

Volume: 47;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: frugivore | plasma glucose | glucose regulation | nectar | fruit

Frugivores feed on nectars and fruits of varying amounts of sugar concentration and type, which provide these animals with energy. Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat (Epomophorus wahlbergi) has a high glucose intake irrespective of sugar concentration of nectar and it is not known how these bats regulate their blood plasma glucose concentrations in order to avoid the negative effects associated with hyperglycemia. Generally fruit bats have a high amount of sugar intake in a short period of time which could cause a glucose challenge and it is therefore necessary to determine whether these bats are able to regulate their blood plasma glucose levels within normal levels. This study investigated the blood plasma glucose levels of E. wahlbergi before and after feeding.  Epomophorus wahlbergi’s blood plasma glucose level was relatively low (5.24 ± 0.38 mmol/l) before feeding and increased during/after feeding (8.19 ± 1.24 mmol/l). However, these levels did not exceed the normal mammalian blood plasma glucose levels (< 10 mmol/l). These bats were able to regulate their blood plasma glucose thus escaping the negative consequences associated with hyperglycemia.
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