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African Zoology

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Thermoregulation of the subterranean rodent genus Bathyergus (Bathyergidae)

B.G. Lovegrove

Abstract


The thermoregulation of the largest subterranean rodent, genus Bathyergus,  comprising two species, B. suillus and B. janetta,occurring in mesic and semiarid habitats respectively, was investigated and compared with that of other subterranean rodents. Both species display low resting metabolic rates and low body temperatures characteristic of subterranean rodents. The lower metabolism and smaller body size of B. janetta, may be an ‘energy-saving’ adaptation to its semi-arid habitat.



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