Navigation Links
Taking the heat: Asian elephants simply 'ride out' high daytime heat load
Date:9/30/2011

The heat is on where elephants roam. Daytime temperatures in the natural environment of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) average between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. Elephants do not sweat or pant to cool down and their small surface-to-volume ratio restricts heat loss. Experts have long suspected that elephants may have a heat storage mechanism similar to that used by camels and other desert mammals. Scientists at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology (FIWI) at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have now shown convincingly that Asian elephants respond to high daytime temperatures by significantly lowering their body temperature during the cooler night hours. By doing so they create a kind of thermal reserve that allows them to store heat and so prevent heat stress as temperatures rise during the day. This finding is particularly interesting because it raises the possibility that heat storage is much more widespread among mammals than previously thought.

Heterothermy is an adaptive mechanism by which body temperature fluctuates in response to environmental temperature, decreasing at night when it is cooler and increasing gradually in the daytime. The FIWI researchers have investigated whether elephants make use of heterothermy. To do so, they fed small telemeters to a group of captive elephants in Thailand and a control group at the Munich Zoo Hellabrunn to monitor temperatures in the animals gastrointestinal tract. This telemetry system, which permits the continuous recording of temperature, had previously been developed at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology. Statistical analysis of the data confirmed the scientists' expectations: the overall mean body temperature was similar in both the Thai and the German study groups but fluctuations in body temperature were on average twice as large in the Thai animals as in the German individuals. The Thai animals had both a higher daily peak temperature and a lower minimum temperature, which the scientists related to the higher mean ambient temperatures in Thailand. In fact, the body temperature of the Thai elephants dropped at night to well below the normal average. This means that Thai elephants start the day with a much larger thermal reserve than their German counterparts.

Thomas Ruf, an expert in animal physiology and co-author of the study, is excited by the new results. "The phenomenon of heterothermy as a thermoregulatory mechanism was known from desert animals such as camels, antelopes and small desert rodents but it was surprising to find it in non-desert mammals. Our findings raise the intriguing possibility that heterothermy may be far more widespread in mammals than previously assumed". This will certainly be an interesting topic to investigate in the future and the temperature sensors developed in FIWI should provide the scientists with a good handle to tackle it.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Thomas Ruf
Thomas.Ruf@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-148-909-15150
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Celebrate National Childrens Dental Health Month by Taking Care of Tiny Teeth
2. People with prediabetes not taking adequate precautions to avoid diabetes
3. Binge drinking doesnt affect next-day student test-taking
4. Taking Care of Your 'Girls': A Fun and Open Forum for Young Women Hosted by Abington Memorial Hospital
5. Triple Heart Valve Replacement Saves Local Women's Life at Portneuf Medical Center: Woman Gets a Second Chance at Life After Taking Fen-Phen
6. Taking Flu Drugs While Pregnant Appears to Be Safe: Study
7. Harmony Information Systems to Host Free Webcast: Learn How Vermont and Pennsylvania Are Taking Control of Medicaid Waivers Management
8. A Womans Touch Encourages Financial Risk-Taking
9. Taking the final step from the bench to the hospital or clinic bedside
10. Robin Leedy & Associates Hires Digital Content Producer, Taking Social Media for Drugstore Brands Digital Capability to the Next Level
11. Genetic differences may influence joint pain among women taking lifesaving breast cancer drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... of what is needed and will ultimately do significant harm to people with ... to everyone. , "While it leaves in place the Affordable Care Act ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Studies show evidence that carotenoids and ... of visual loss in these patients. , But how often do ophthalmologists and optometrists ... to patients at risk of or with early symptoms of AMD? A study ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Military Connection friend and veteran advocate Micaela Bensko ... Atlantic lounge. , Bensko is no stranger to the plight of the disabled. ... life to supporting our wounded veterans. A world-class photographer, her riveting photos “The Wounds ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Aesthetic Channel has recently highlighted Dr. Ben Talei’s unique ... a proprietary technique that he calls the AuraLyft Facelift. The AuraLyft does ... patients can expect to look refreshed, rejuvenated, and revitalized. , Dr. Talei’s unique ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... 21 Middle East and South Asia ... 21 leaders from government, business and civil society in 11 countries across the Middle ... fall, engaging in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/8/2017)... 2017  StatLab Medical Products ("StatLab" or ... of diagnostic supplies for the anatomic pathology ... Company LP ("Cressey & Company"), a healthcare-focused ... investment in the Company. Cressey & Company ... selling shareholder, Prairie Capital, L.P., with certain ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... 2017  Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group, a brand of Diplomat Pharmacy, ... Iowa location. The ... features an ISO 7 cleanroom—the standard needed to compound intravenous (IV) ... level of pollutants. "Our new ... better serve our Iowa patients," said ...
(Date:6/3/2017)... June 3, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... results from the Phase 3 MONARCH 2 study ... 6 inhibitor, in combination with fulvestrant, significantly improved ... alone in women with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal ... who have relapsed or progressed after endocrine therapy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: