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Rare and opportunistic use of torpor in mammals - an echo from the past?

Nowack, J, Stawski, C, Geiser, F and Levesque, DL (2023) Rare and opportunistic use of torpor in mammals - an echo from the past? Integrative and Comparative Biology. ISSN 1540-7063

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Rare and Opportunistic Use of Torpor in MammalsAn Echo from the Past - Published Version
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Torpor was traditionally seen as a winter survival mechanism employed by animals living in cold and highly seasonal habitats. Although we now know that torpor is also used by tropical and subtropical species, and in response to a variety of triggers, torpor is still largely viewed as a highly controlled, seasonal mechanism shown by Northern hemisphere species. To scrutinise this view, we report data from a macroanalysis in which we characterized the type and seasonality of torpor use from mammal species currently known to use torpor. Our findings suggest that predictable, seasonal, torpor patterns reported for Northern temperate and polar species are highly derived forms of torpor expression, whereas the more opportunistic and variable forms of torpor that we see in tropical and subtropical species are likely closer to the patterns expressed by ancestral mammals. Our data emphasise that the torpor patterns observed in the tropics and subtropics should be considered the norm and not the exception.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology; 0602 Ecology; 0608 Zoology; Evolutionary Biology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2023 10:37
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 10:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/icb/icad067
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20315
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