Regional endothermy in a coral reef fish?

Welsh, Justin Q., and Bellwood, David R. (2012) Regional endothermy in a coral reef fish? PLoS ONE, 7 (3). e33187. pp. 1-5.

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Although a few pelagic species exhibit regional endothermy, most fish are regarded as ectotherms. However, we document significant regional endothermy in a benthic reef fish. Individual steephead parrotfish, Chlorurus microrhinos (Labridae, formerly Scaridae) were tagged and their internal temperatures were monitored for a 24 h period using active acoustic telemetry. At night, on the reef, C. microrhinos were found to maintain a consistent average peritoneal cavity temperature 0.16±0.005°C (SE) warmer than ambient. Diurnal internal temperatures were highly variable for individuals monitored on the reef, while in tank-based trials, peritoneal cavity temperatures tracked environmental temperatures. The mechanisms responsible for a departure of the peritoneal cavity temperature from environmental temperature occurred in C. microrhinos are not yet understood. However, the diet and behavior of the species suggests that heat in the peritoneal cavity may result primarily from endogenous thermogenesis coupled with physiological heat retention mechanisms. The presence of limited endothermy in C. microrhinos indicates that a degree of uncertainty may exist in the manner that reef fish respond to their thermal environment. At the very least, they do not always appear to respond to environmental temperatures as neutral thermal vessels and do display limited, but significant, visceral warming.

Item ID: 24653
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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© 2012 Welsh, Bellwood. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2013 05:57
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060603 Animal Physiology Systems @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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