Fur characteristics of the African ice rat Otomys sloggetti robertsi: modifications for an alpine existence

Rymer, Tasmin L., Kinahan, Anouska A., and Pillay, Neville (2007) Fur characteristics of the African ice rat Otomys sloggetti robertsi: modifications for an alpine existence. Journal of Thermal Biology, 32 (7-8). pp. 428-432.

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Abstract

The African ice rat Otomys sloggetti robertsi is a small rodent confined to cold, alpine habitats. It does not hibernate and is poorly adapted physiologically to low temperatures. We predicted and showed that its fur is denser than its congeners from warmer habitats, but it had shorter fur than expected. Dense fur would provide insulation and piloerection of short fur would facilitate heat gain from solar radiation during sun basking. These traits, in addition to other behavioural and morphological traits, would assist O. s. robertsi in meeting its thermoregulatory requirements in response to low temperatures.

Item ID: 33200
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0992
Keywords: pelage; thermoregulation; sun basking; hypothermia
Funders: National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand
Projects and Grants: NRF 2069110
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 00:44
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060806 Animal Physiological Ecology @ 60%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060308 Life Histories @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 70%
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