Adaptive evolution of coagulation and blood properties in hypoxia tolerant Spalax in Israel

N. Danial-Farran, N. J. Nasser, A. Beiles, B. Brenner, G. Sarig, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The subterranean blind mole rat (Spalax) is adapted to underground life stresses genomically, proteomically, and phenomically. It has been studied multidisciplinarily as an evolutionary model, and a potential medical therapy resource. The four parapatric species in Israel, are climatically adapted. Here, we examine coagulation, and blood properties of one population in each of the four species. Our results show that Spalax galili possesses the shortest average bleeding time compared to the other Spalax species (P < 0.04). Likewise, Spalax galili possesses the shortest average activated partial thromboplastin time. Prothrombin time is 16.34 ± 4.25, 23.3 ± 8.99, 15.71 ± 4.24, and 17.37 ± 6.02 s in Spalax galili, Spalax golani, Spalax carmeli and Spalax judaei, respectively, with significant differences between Spalax galili and Spalax golani, and between Spalax golani and Spalax carmeli populations (P < 0.05). Blood hemoglobin is higher in Spalax galili and Spalax golani compared to Spalax carmeli and Spalax judaei populations. Bleeding time, coagulation profiles, and blood properties differ partly between the examined populations. These differences appear adaptive, associated with climatic variation, population density, and the risk of injury during digging, fighting and preying. The population under the highest injury risk displayed the shortest bleeding time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Zoology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Zoological Society of London


  • Spalax
  • blood properties
  • coagulation
  • hemoglobin
  • hypoxia
  • mole rats
  • thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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