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

erature, 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.


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

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