Composition of milk of the free-ranging Egyptian fruit-bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) was studied from early to peak lactation. Carbohydrates were the main component during early lactation and fats were the main component in milk from mid- to peak lactation. Dry-matter and energy content of the milk increased during mid-lactation and stabilized at peak lactation. Increases were a consequence of increased fat content, but carbohydrate and protein contents remained relatively stable. We conclude that the milk composition of R. aegyptiacus is related to diet and frequent suckling by young. We suggest that the inability of R. aegyptiacus to produce concentrated milk of high fat and energy contents and a low protein content is compensated for by prolonged lactation.
- Fruit bat
- Milk composition
- Rousettus aegyptiacus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Nature and Landscape Conservation