Desert rodents are occasionally exposed to long spells of drought. We aimed to examine how such dehydrating conditions affect resting metabolic rate (RMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) and osmoregulatory capabilities in the desert inhabiting species Sekeetamys calurus. Dehydration was imposed by gradually increasing salinity of drinking water and by feeding the animals a high-protein diet. S. calurus responded to osmotic stress by reducing RMR, increasing NST capacity, reducing urine volume and increasing urine concentration. It is suggested that the reduction in RMR is an adaptation for conserving water, while the increase in NST capacity compensates for the reduction in RMR.
- Non-shivering thermogenesis
- Resting metabolic rate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes