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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2006 Jan;143(1):118-24. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Ontogenetic shifts in thermal tolerance, selected body temperature and thermal dependence of food assimilation and locomotor performance in a lacertid lizard, Eremias brenchleyi.

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1
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Bioresource Technology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, Jiangsu, China.

Abstract

We used Eremias brenchleyi as a model animal to examine differences in thermal tolerance, selected body temperature, and the thermal dependence of food assimilation and locomotor performance between juvenile and adult lizards. Adults selected higher body temperatures (33.5 vs. 31.7 degrees C) and were able to tolerate a wider range of body temperatures (3.4-43.6 vs. 5.1-40.8 degrees C) than juveniles. Within the body temperature range of 26-38 degrees C, adults overall ate more than juveniles, and food passage rate was faster in adults than juveniles. Apparent digestive coefficient (ADC) and assimilation efficiency (AE) varied among temperature treatments but no clear temperature associated patterns could be discerned for these two variables. At each test temperature ADC and AE were both higher in adults than in juveniles. Sprint speed increased with increase in body temperature at lower body temperatures, but decreased at higher body temperatures. At each test temperature adults ran faster than did juveniles, and the range of body temperatures where lizards maintained 90% of maximum speed differed between adults (27-34 degrees C) and juveniles (29-37 degrees C). Optimal temperatures and thermal sensitivities differed between food assimilation and sprint speed. Our results not only show strong patterns of ontogenetic variation in thermal tolerance, selected body temperature and thermal dependence of food assimilation and locomotor performance in E. brenchleyi, but also add support for the multiple optima hypothesis for the thermal dependence of behavioral and physiological variables in reptiles.

PMID:
16380280
DOI:
10.1016/j.cbpa.2005.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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