African Zoology

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Thermoregulation in the hippopotamus on land

PG Wright


Restriction of a hippopotamus to the land under hot environmental conditions during the day resulted in an increase of no more than 1°C in core temperature. The rising adverse radiation and convection heat load was met by increase in evaporative water loss from the skin. The increased water loss was brought about by secretion from subdermal glands which wetted the skin surface and increased water movement through the integument. The hippopotamus normally avoids thermal stress on land by taking to the water for most of the day but it can restrain its core temperature under adverse conditions on land.

S. Afr. J. Zool.1987,22(3)

AJOL African Journals Online