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Saving energy via short and shallow torpor bouts

Nowack, J, Mzilikazi, N and Dausmann, KH (2023) Saving energy via short and shallow torpor bouts. Journal of Thermal Biology, 114. ISSN 0306-4565

Nowack et al. 2023. Saving energy via short and shallow torpor.pdf - Published Version
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Maintaining a high and stable body temperature as observed in most endothermic mammals and birds is energetically costly and many heterothermic species reduce their metabolic demands during energetic bottlenecks through the use of torpor. With the increasing number of heterotherms revealed in a diversity of habitats, it becomes apparent that triggers and patterns of torpor use are more variable than previously thought. Here, we report the previously overlooked use of, shallow rest-time torpor (body temperature >30 °C) in African lesser bushbabies, Galago moholi. Body core temperature of three adult male bushbabies recorded over five months showed a clear bimodal distribution with an average active modal temperature of 39.2 °C and a resting modal body temperature of 36.7 °C. Shallow torpor was observed in two out of three males (n = 29 torpor bouts) between June and August (austral winter), with body temperatures dropping to an overall minimum of 30.7 °C and calculated energy savings of up to 10%. We suggest that shallow torpor may be an ecologically important, yet mostly overlooked energy-saving strategy employed by heterothermic mammals. Our data emphasise that torpor threshold temperatures need to be used with care if we aim to fully understand the level of physiological plasticity displayed by heterothermic species.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences; Physiology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier BV
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 08:59
Last Modified: 18 May 2023 09:01
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2023.103572
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19516
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