Circannual rhythms of appetite and ecdysis in the elapid snake, Hemachatus haemachatus, appear to be endogenous

Alexander, Graham J., and Brooks, Robert (1999) Circannual rhythms of appetite and ecdysis in the elapid snake, Hemachatus haemachatus, appear to be endogenous. Copeia, 1999 (1). pp. 146-152.

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Abstract

We demonstrate that appetite and the probability of ecdysis vary seasonally in the temperate African elapid Hemachatus haemachatus. The periods of lowest food acceptance, and lowest probability of shedding, coincided with the late autumn and winter months of May through July, and we interpret these patterns as adaptations to avoid the costs of arrested digestion and of ecdysis during the coldest part of the year. The seasonal patterns we document have persisted in our animals without measurable attenuation for seven years to date, despite the snakes being kept at constant temperature (25 C) and photoperiod (12:12 h) for the duration of the study. Because these are the most likely cues for exogenous control of the seasonal patterns observed, we argue that we have provided good evidence that these rhythms are, at least partly, under endogenous control.

Item ID: 27315
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
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ISSN: 0045-8511
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 01:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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