We evaluated the accuracy in using the Small Animal Composition Analyzer (EM-SCAN®, Model SA-2) for estimating body composition of live meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). To investigate the necessity for a species-specific calibration equation, we compared the average error in estimates of lipid mass using meadow vole data in calibration equations derived for meadow voles in this study to equations derived for prairie voles (very similar in size and shape to meadow voles) and to those provided by the manufacturer. Analyses using a complete data set (n = 27 voles) and 2 subsets representing “lean” voles (n = 16) and “fat” voles (n = 11) were performed. The equation derived for meadow voles more accurately estimated lipid mass than the other equations with an average error of 1.55 g compared to 3.64 g using the prairie-vole equation and 4.73 g with the manufacturer equation, supporting the need for a species-specific equation even with species of very similar size and morphology.
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