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Temperature Regulation in Hedgehogs from Temperate and Desert Environments

Amiram Shkolnik and Knut Schmidt-Nielsen
Physiological Zoology
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Jan., 1976), pp. 56-64
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30155677
Page Count: 9
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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.
Temperature Regulation in Hedgehogs from Temperate and Desert Environments
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Abstract

Three species of hedgehog (Insectivora) were chosen to represent temperate (Erinaceus europaeus), semi-arid (Hemiechinus auritus), and desert regions (Paraechinus aethiopicus). Metabolic rates, temperature regulation, and evaporation of water were studied under laboratory conditions. All three species maintained their body temperature close to 34 C (about 3-4 C lower than other mammals). All three species are competent temperature regulators which at low air temperature maintain body temperature by increasing oxygen consumption, and at high air temperature by increasing the evaporation of water. The rate of oxygen consumption is lowest in the desert species (Paraechinus) and highest in the temperate species (Erinaceus). However, thermoregulatory abilities are similar in all three species and not readily correlated with their geographical distribution.

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