Seasonal acclimatization of non-shivering thermogenesis in common spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus) from different habitats

Michael Scantlebury, Uri Shanas, Abraham Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We compared non-shivering thermogenesis between two adjacent populations of freshly captured common spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus) during both winter and summer. Mice were captured from northand south-facing slopes (NFS and SFS) of the same valley that represent 'Mediterranean' and 'Desert' habitats, respectively. Oxygen consumption and body temperature responses to an injection of exogenous noradrenaline (NA) were higher during the winter than during the summer. In addition, SFS mice had a lower body temperature response to NA during the summer than the other groups of mice. This suggests that heat dissipation is likely to have been greatest in SFS mice during the summer. Overall this study shows that seasonal acclimatization of NST mechanisms is an important trait for small mammals that inhabit the Mediterranean ecosystem. Differences in physiological capabilities can occur temporally within populations across seasons, and spatially between populations that are only a short distance (200-500 m) apart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
JournalAfrican Zoology
Volume40
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Body temperature
  • Non-shivering thermogenesis
  • Noradrenaline
  • Seasonality
  • Spiny mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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