Body-temperature daily rhythms in Acomys cahirinus: Response to slope type and salinity

M. Scantlebury, U. Shanas, D. Afik, A. Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The common spiny mouse, Acomys cahirinus, in the Mediterranean system of Nahal Oren, Mount Carmel, inhabits the north- and south-facing slopes (NFS and SFS, respectively). In a comparative study of mice from the two slopes, body temperature (Tb) and daily rhythms were measured in mice exposed to increased salinity in their water source. For this purpose, mice were kept in outdoor cages during July-September. Mice were kept separately on a diet of soy beans while water was offered in the form of agar (2%) squares in which salinity was 0.9, 2.5, and 3.5% NaCl. Acclimation to each NaCl concentration lasted for at least two weeks. Tb was measured by inserting a thermocouple to a depth of 3 cm into the rectum of a mouse kept in a cotton bag for a period of 30 sec. Tb was recorded every 6 h over a period of 36 h. Tb values were lower in the SFS population compared with NSF, possibly due to lower metabolic rates. Increasing salinity, mainly from 2.5 to 3.5%, resulted in a higher Tb amplitude in mice from both slopes, possibly as a means to conserve water by increasing the Tb-ambient-temperature gradient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172
Number of pages1
JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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