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Thread: thermodynamics and biochemistry.

  1. #1 thermodynamics and biochemistry. 
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    question for all you thermodynamic buffs:

    what would yeild more energy per gram for a captive bred, growing reticulated python ( a very large snake endemic to indonesia), feeding on rats or rabbits?

    assuming that both feeder animals (rats and rabbits) are feeding on diets high in fat, and protien.

    there is some research out there pointing to rats yeilding 30% more energy per gram than rabbits... is this true? this information could be biased, as the rat feeder market is very strong compared to the rabbit feeder market.

    also i know that rats and rabbits store different amounts of fat throughout their growth cycle.

    it is very important that the info compares these animals at the same stages in growth.

    if anybody has any links for caloremetery data on these two animals, it would be appreciated, especially for different stages in their growth cycles.

    i have searched and have found very little info, and i'm not about to ask my dept. head if i can torch any rodents in the balm caloremeter at school.

    let me clarify this a bit... by growing snake i mean, from the time it hatches out of the egg (3 ft), to the time it is big enough to eat a 1lbs rabbit - which will give the snake more enerrgy to grow - feeding on rats, or feeding on rabbits?

    this might help... but its not very scientific.
    http://www.constrictors.com/Informat...al02May291.pdf

    this link is very scientific... but it leaves some question unanswered for me.
    http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/74/9/2088.pdf

    i am interested because i breed these snakes.

    thanks,

    brian


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Rabbits tend to be a bit lean by nature, Rats are fat and nasty. Feed em the rats. I actually think they would produce the most energy for the snakes. Better still try the neighbors cats


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  4. #3  
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    i dunno, but i'd say rats because they seem to be stronger in tissue and mucel, but that is a really a "damien guess". no science .. just my gut telling me its logical, but logic is not science !

    might i suggest that this post be moved to bio, because it would appare the question is more in contex with hte metabolism of rats and animals, rather than the chemical formula for fats and stuff? jsut a ssuggestion, i know the two could be dabateble as to wher ethey belong, but you might get more info there!
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  5. #4  
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    i think this is a very complicated question that needs some real analysis before coming to any conclusion.
    my gut feeling was that young rabbits would be more benificial than a young rat to a growing snake, but thats just a feeling - and no science behind it either.

    would you have to consider the energy it takes to actually breakdown the food, and subtract it from the amount of energy gained from the breakdown of matter? i was thinking that the only energy required to breakdown a meal is from the production of acids and enzymes - and from smooth muscle contraction... and all the other stuff that goes with digestion.

    do you think this would effect the overall net yeild of energy produced, or made available for metabolic functions?

    there are only so many rats you can feed your snake before it becomes an economical burden on the pocketbook, this is when rabbits fall in.

    i would like to know your thought's about this:

    say for example you have 2 feeders, one is a rat - the other a rabbit. they are of the same age... say 7 weeks. which would have the higher fat reserve? assuming they are both raised on the proper diets.

    lastly, do you think it matters what the snake eats, as long as its minimum amount of caloric intake is satisfied to maintian homeostasis and growth? seeing as reptiles are ectotherms... they have the ability to regulate their metabolism... so if the snake is comfortable, and has the required food source, does it matter what kind of food source it eats, as long as the food source is in good health?

    thanks for your input.

    ps... cats arent a bad idea, but i own one so i would feel kind of bad feeding them to a snake - i know where i can buy goats though. :P
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  6. #5  
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    what luck, i jsut started that section of chemistry , the amount of energy produced and taken in , and all that!

    and now i understand it a lil better! small world!, no?

    i think you should ask, heck i found out that my school has one! i'd offer but i ahve no samples!
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  7. #6  
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    I would feed them which ever animal has the highest fat %, since fat is the most comprimed source of biological energy.
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  8. #7  
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    Yet I agree, nice fat cat
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  9. #8  
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    It may not be totally relevant to the discussion, but recent events provide some insights into what forms of food are appropriate for large snakes.

    Just a couple of days ago they found a Burmese Python in Florida which had bit off more than it could chew in attempting to swallow an alligator. The result was that the snake exploded. Story and pix are located on foxnews.com

    Then this morning, it was reported in Oregon that a Python had been captured near a Toys R Us store. Some have speculated that it was trolling for children and knew where to find them.

    As to rats and rabbits, I dunno. But obviously alligator is not good fare for the python. The verdict is still pending on children until the pythons develop a stealthier and more successful capture technique.
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