African Zoology

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Heating and cooling rates and their effects upon heart rate in the angulate tortoise, Chersina angulata

Shaleen Els, T Erasmus, P.E.D. Winter


The heating and cooling rates of adult Chersina angulata were investigated to ascertain whether these tortoises can physiologically alter their rates of heat exchange. In addition, heart rates were recorded to provide an insight into the control of heat exchange. C. angulata heats significantly faster than it cools. Heart rates increase with increasing body temperature, and for all body temperatures heart rates were greater during heating than during cooling. This suggests that the cardiovascular system plays a role in the heat exchange of the tortoises, but further study is required to completely understand the thermoregulatory process.

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