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Cooling rates and body temperature regulation of hibernating echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

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Nicol, SC and Andersen, NA (2007) Cooling rates and body temperature regulation of hibernating echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 210 (4). pp. 586-592. ISSN 1477-9145

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Abstract

Echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are amongst the largest deep hibernators, but it is difficult to get them to hibernate normally under laboratory conditions. We measured body temperature (Tb) in 14 free-ranging echidnas using implanted data-loggers. Cooling during entry into hibernation bouts followed a Newtonian cooling curve, and conductances calculated from cooling curves were identical to those observed in cold exposed euthermic echidnas. Comparison with a reference soil temperature demonstrated that echidnas showed behavioural thermoregulation during hibernation; early in the hibernation season echidnas preferred to hibernate in cool areas, while during the coldest months they moved to warmer hibernacula, giving a preferred Tb in the range 8-10{degrees}C. Thermal buffering against excessive variation in Tb may be as important as maintaining a low Tb.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: echidna, monotreme, hibernation, cooling, thermoregulation, conductance
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Biology
Page Range: pp. 586-592
ISSN: 1477-9145
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1242/jeb.02701
Additional Information:

Limited downloads available from: http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/210/4/586.pdf?ijkey=9BR05ajZ0Xojxba&keytype=finite

Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:13
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