ULTRASONIC FAT MEASUREMENT OF CAPTIVE YEARLING BULL MOOSE
The ability to measure fat thickness in live moose offers potential as an index of population condition. Consequently, we evaluated the feasibility of using portable real-time ultrasound to measure body fat in five captive yearling bull moose (Alces alces). The rump region of the bulls was scanned, twice weekly for 3 weeks during the rut, using a 5 MHz transducer; an additional set of measurements was obtained in April 1993. Ultrasonic fat thickness was measured at multiple sites along a line between the spine, at its closest point to the tuber coxae (hip bone), and the uber ischii (pin bone), as well as along a second line perpendicular to the first line at its midpoint. The range of maximum subcutaneous fat thickness at the beginning of the study was 0.3 - 2.4 cm. Fat thickness declined significantly during the rut. The range of fat loss during the rut at the intersection of the 2 measurement lines was 0.2 - 1.2 cm. This in vivo technique exhibits potential to monitor body condition.
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