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Development of endothermy in a Tasmanian marsupial, Bettongia gaimardi and its response to cold and noradrenaline


Rose, RW and Kuswanti, N and Colquhoun, EQ, Development of endothermy in a Tasmanian marsupial, Bettongia gaimardi and its response to cold and noradrenaline, Journal of Comparative Physiology. B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology, 168, (5) pp. 359-363. ISSN 0174-1578 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s003600050155


Marsupials at birth are ectothermic and gradually attain the ability to change their metabolic heat production during pouch life. How this process occurs in the bettong has been measured on 13 pouch young from week 1 until 3 weeks after pouch vacation (week 18). Oxygen consumption was measured at 35 °C (pouch temperature) and at 22 °C. The results at 35 °C showed an increase in metabolic rate from week 1 until week 12 when there was a decrease to near adult levels after pouch vacation. At 22 °C young bettongs had a lower metabolic rate (compared with measurements made at 35 °C) until week 9 after which there was an increase above measurements made at 35 °C. Noradrenaline had little effect until week 10 after which the metabolic rate (although measured at 35 °C) paralleled the levels measured at 22 °C. The free thyroxine level was low in early pouch life, increased to a peak at week 12 then decreased. Thermal conductance increased until week 10 after which it decreased, reaching values similar to those of adult bettongs by week 20. The results indicate that non-shivering thermogenesis occurs in this macropodid marsupial. This phenomenon may be a phylogenetic difference between macropodid and nonmacropodid marsupials as also suggested by Nicol et al. (1997).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Zoology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Rose, RW (Associate Professor Randy Rose)
UTAS Author:Kuswanti, N (Miss Nur Kuswanti)
UTAS Author:Colquhoun, EQ (Dr Eric Colquhoun)
ID Code:14920
Year Published:1998
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-09

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