Nocturnal Acomys cahirinus and diurnally active A. russatus coexist in hot rocky deserts. Diurnal and nocturnal activity exposes them to different climatic challenges. A doubly-labelled water field study revealed no significant differences in water turnover between the species at all seasons, reflecting the adaptations of A. russatus to water conservation. In summers the energy expenditure of A. russatus tended to be higher than that of A. cahirinus. Energy requirements of A. cahirinus in winter are double than that of A. russatus, and may reflect the cost of thermoregulating during cold nights.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank A. Landsman for his cheerful help in the field, the Ein Gedi Field School of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel for their warm hospitality and help, the Nature and National Parks Protection Agency of Israel for their helpful cooperation, and A. Shkolnik for his help and support in every stage of this research. This research was supported by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development grant No. I-264-203.11/92.
- Energy expenditure
- Temporal partitioning
- Water turnover
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
- Developmental Biology