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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

CUTRERA, ANA P  and  ANTINUCHI, CARLOS D. Fur changes in the subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum: possible thermal compensatory mechanism. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2004, vol.77, n.2, pp.235-242. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2004000200003.

In this work, the changes in fur density and length in the subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum were evaluated as a possible compensatory mechanism during seasonal temperature changes in their burrow environment and during pregnancy in females, both situations being thermoregulatory challenging in this species. The ventral fur was shorter and less dense than the dorsal fur in the three groups (males, non-pregnant females and pregnant females) and in the two seasons evaluated. Ventral and dorsal furs were significantly shorter during the warm seasons in the three groups. In the warm season, pregnant females had a ventral fur significantly shorter than that of males and non-pregnant females. The possible thermal advantages that the observed fur changes might represent for the species are discussed, with emphasis on the constraints imposed by the subterranean environment on available ways of dissipating body heat

Keywords : fur; subterranean environment; dissipation.

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