Shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis in a marsupial, the eastern barred bandicoot (
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Rose, RW and Ikonomopoulou, M, Shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis in a marsupial, the eastern barred bandicoot (
Perameles gunni), Journal of Thermal Biology, 30, (2) pp. 85-92. ISSN 0306-4565 (2005) [Refereed Article]
We investigated the metabolic rate of the Tasmanian marsupial, the eastern barred bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, before and after acclimation to cold temperature (5°C) for a 2-week period. Although body temperature did not change significantly, we observed a significant increase in the metabolic rate (MR) when measured at 5°C before and after cold acclimation. Nor-epinephrine had a significant effect on the metabolic rate when measured in the thermoneutral zone and when measured at 5°C after cold acclimation; however, there was no significant increase when measured at 5°C before cold acclimation. Nor-epinephrine also resulted in a small but significant decrease in body temperature. Electromyography (EMG) measurements were obtained before and after cold acclimation during shivering. Shivering decreased after two weeks of cold exposure indicating that the bandicoot had acclimated to that temperature. Nor-epinephrine (NE) significantly reduced shivering before but not after cold acclimation. The metabolic rate and shivering decreased in the adult eastern barred bandicoot after acclimation at 5°C and nor-epinephrine had similar effects to cold acclimation. Our findings of minor changes in thermal conductance suggest that insulation differences were unlikely explanations for our results. These experiments indicate that this marsupial is able to increase its heat production by non-shivering thermogenesis. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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