UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


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Poster, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Fair, Spring 2016.


Copyright (c) 2016 Lisa Keys and Dennis Ferraro


Nutrition has a dramatic effect on animal’s bodies and behaviors as they go through their lives. Looking at the effects of nutrition on captive animals is crucial to providing future animals with better lives. Since captive animals don’t get the variety of food items that they would get in the wild, supplementation is often used to meet the minimum dietary requirements. Looking at how supplementation affects female leopard geckos at breeding size, there were both positive and negative correlations with different supplementations used. After taking body measurements on females over several months on one kind of additional supplement, the control group(C) had the most detrimental effects. The control, un-supplemented, group had severe weight loss and consistent diarrhea while the calcium with D3 group(4) began to excrete excess calcium in their fecal matter. The other two groups, calcium(3) and vitamin(2) supplementation, had little to no change in their body mass however group 2 began to exhibit unwanted negative behaviors towards handling and males. Trials of introducing males into the female cages were conducted once a month however copulation didn’t occur at any point throughout the experiment. R2 values gathered through graphing data from female body mass indicate that plain calcium would be the appropriate choice for supplementation; however when not keeping an animal under UVB light and alternating supplementations per feeding, calcium with D3 would be the better choice.

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