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Sleep Sci. 2016 Oct-Dec;9(4):280-284. doi: 10.1016/j.slsci.2016.06.001. Epub 2016 Oct 1.

Social modulation of the daily activity rhythm in a solitary subterranean rodent, the tuco-tuco (Ctenomys sp).

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Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo , São Paulo, Brazil.
Centro Regional de Investigaciones Científicas y Transferencia Tecnológica de La Rioja, CRILAR-CONICET, Entre Rios y Mendoza s/n, 5301 Anillaco, La Rioja, Argentina.


South American subterranean rodents are mainly described as solitary and mutual synchronization was never observed among individuals maintained together in laboratory. We report that a single birth event was capable of disrupting the robust nocturnal activity rhythm of singly housed tuco-tucos from north-west Argentina. "Around-the-clock activity" was displayed by 8 out of 13 animals whose cages were closer to the newborn pups. However, experimental exposure to a pup vocalization did not produce a similar effect on the rhythms of adult animals. Our results indicate an effect of social interaction in the expression of biological rhythms even in solitary animals.


Around-the-clock activity; Circadian rhythm; Ctenomyidae; Social synchronization; Tuco-tuco

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