Seasonal acclimatization and thermoregulation in the pouched mouse Saccostomus campestris

A. Haim, P. A. Racey, J. R. Speakman, J. D. Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pouched mouse Saccostomus compestris, a nocturnal, fossorial rodent, is widely distributed in the Southern-African subregion. Seasonal acclimatization of mechanisms of thermoregulation and body mass were studied in this species under the natural photoperiod conditions prevailing in Pretoria during January-February and July-August at room temperatures of 23.2-28.1 and 9.8-18.2°C, respectively. The following parameters were measured or calculated: body mass, oxygen consumption and body temperature at various ambient temperatures, minimal overall thermal conductance and capacity for non-shivering thermogenesis. In winter-acclimatized pouched mice, body mass, resting metabolic rates and non-shivering thermogenesis capacity are higher than in summer-acclimatized mice, while lower critical point and minimal thermal conductance are higher in summer-acclimatized mice than in winter-acclimatized. The seasonal changes of the studied parameters, may help explain the ability of this species to cope with its habitat in the two different seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Non shivering thermogenesis
  • fossorial
  • metabolic rate
  • photoperiod
  • seasonal acclimatization
  • thermal conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Developmental Biology


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