Differences Between Golden Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) and Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus) in Preference for the Sole Diet That They Are Eating.
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D. DiBattista (2002) reported that hamsters but not rats showed reduced preferences for the sole diet they had eaten for 10 days. In the current study, the authors fed Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) a nutritious diet for either 3 or 10 days, then tested them either immediately or 1 or 3 days later. The authors found that like golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), rats exhibited reduced preferences for a prefed diet but only if tested either immediately or 1 day after prefeeding, not if tested 3 days later (when D. DiBattista tested his hamsters). Rats and hamsters differed in the longevity, not the development, of reduced preferences for a palatable food eaten for several consecutive days. Such a response might aid dietary generalists in constructing balanced diets when no single available food is nutritionally adequate.
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