Overview of FEED, the feeding experiments end-user database

Christine E. Wall, Christopher J. Vinyard, Susan H. Williams, Vladimir Gapeyev, Xianhua Liu, Hilmar Lapp, Rebecca Z. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Feeding Experiments End-user Database (FEED) is a research tool developed by the Mammalian Feeding Working Group at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center that permits synthetic, evolutionary analyses of the physiology of mammalian feeding. The tasks of the Working Group are to compile physiologic data sets into a uniform digital format stored at a central source, develop a standardized terminology for describing and organizing the data, and carry out a set of novel analyses using FEED. FEED contains raw physiologic data linked to extensive metadata. It serves as an archive for a large number of existing data sets and a repository for future data sets. The metadata are stored as text and images that describe experimental protocols, research subjects, and anatomical information. The metadata incorporate controlled vocabularies to allow consistent use of the terms used to describe and organize the physiologic data. The planned analyses address long-standing questions concerning the phylogenetic distribution of phenotypes involving muscle anatomy and feeding physiology among mammals, the presence and nature of motor pattern conservation in the mammalian feeding muscles, and the extent to which suckling constrains the evolution of feeding behavior in adult mammals. We expect FEED to be a growing digital archive that will facilitate new research into understanding the evolution of feeding anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science


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