Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/1386
Title: Torpor and basking in a small arid zone marsupial
Contributor(s): Warnecke, Lisa (author); Turner, James Malcolm (author); Geiser, Fritz (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1007/s00114-007-0293-4
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/1386
Abstract: The high energetic cost associated with endothermic rewarming from torpor is widely seen as a major disadvantage of torpor. We tested the hypothesis that small arid zone marsupials, which have limited access to energy in the form of food but ample access to solar radiation, employ basking to facilitate arousal from torpor and reduce the costs of rewarming. We investigated torpor patterns and basking behaviour in free-ranging fat-tailed dunnarts 'Sminthopis crassicaudata' (10 g) in autumn and winter using small internal temperature-sensitive transmitters. Torpid animals emerged from their resting sites in cracking soil at ~1000 h with body temperatures as low as 14.6°C and positioned themselves in the sun throughout the rewarming process. On average, torpor duration in autumn was shorter, and basking was less pronounced in autumn than in winter. These are the first observations of basking during rewarming in 'S. crassicaudata' and only the second direct evidence of basking in a torpid mammal for the reduction of energetic costs during arousal from torpor and normothermia. Our findings suggest that although over-looked in the past, basking may be widely distributed amongst heterothermic mammals. Therefor, the energetic benefits from torpor use in wild animals may currently be underestimated.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Naturwissenschaften, 95(1), p. 73-78
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 0028-1042
1432-1904
Field of Research (FOR): 060801 Animal Behaviour
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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