Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/12100
Title: Summer and winter torpor use by a free-ranging marsupial
Contributor(s): Turner, James M (author); Koertner, Gerhard  (author)orcid ; Warnecke, Lisa (author); Geiser, Fritz  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.03.017
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/12100
Abstract: Torpor is usually associated with low ambient temperatures (Ta) in winter, but in some species it is also used in summer, often in response to limited food availability. Since the seasonal expression of torpor of both placental and marsupial hibernators in the wild is poorly documented by quantitative data, we investigated torpor and activity patterns of the eastern pygmy-possum 'Cercartetus nanus' (17.4 g) over two seasons. We used radio telemetry to track animals during winter (n=4) and summer (n=5) in a warm-temperate habitat and found that torpor was used in both seasons. In winter all animals entered periods of short-term hibernation (from 5 to 20 days) containing individual torpor bouts of up to 5.9 days. In summer, torpor bouts were always <1 day in duration, only used by males and were not related to daily mean Ta. Pygmy-possums entered torpor at night as Ta cooled, and rewarmed during the afternoon as Ta increased. Individuals interspersed torpor bouts with nocturnal activity and the percentage of the night animals were active was the same in summer and winter. Our study provides the first information on torpor patterns in free-ranging 'C. nanus', and shows that the use of torpor throughout the year is important for energy management in this species.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 162(3), p. 274-280
Publisher: Elsevier Inc
Place of Publication: Philadelphia, United States of America
ISSN: 1531-4332
1095-6433
Field of Research (FOR): 060604 Comparative Physiology
060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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