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Thermoregulation in the Angolan Free‐Tailed Bat Mops condylurus: A Small Mammal That Uses Hot Roosts

Shane K. Maloney, Gary N. Bronner and Rochelle Buffenstein
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: Ecological and Evolutionary Approaches
Vol. 72, No. 4 (July/August 1999), pp. 385-396
DOI: 10.1086/316677
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/316677
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Thermoregulation in the Angolan Free‐Tailed Bat Mops
condylurus: A Small Mammal That Uses Hot
Roosts
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Abstract

Abstract The Angolan free‐tailed bat (Mops condylurus) uses roosts that often exceed 40°C, an ambient temperature (Ta) that is lethal to many microchiropterans. We measured the physiological responses of this species at Ta's from 15° to 45°C. Torpor was commonly employed during the day at the lower Ta, but the bats generally remained euthermic at night, with a mean body temperature (Tb) of 35.2°C. Metabolic rate reflected the pattern of Tb, increasing with falling Ta at night but decreasing during the day. Metabolic rate and evaporative losses were lower in torpid than in euthermic bats. Body temperature increased at each Ta >35°C and was 43°C at Ta of 45°C. At Ta of 40°C bats increased dry thermal conductance and evaporative heat loss compared to lower Ta. At 45°C dry thermal conductance was lower than at 40°C and evaporative heat loss was 132% of metabolic heat production. At high Ta there was only a slight increase in metabolic rate despite the employment of evaporative cooling mechanisms and an increase in Tb. Collectively our results suggest that M. condylurus is well suited to tolerate high Ta, and this may enable it to exploit thermally challenging roost sites and to colonise habitats and exploit food sources where less stressful roosts are limiting.

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