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The development of endothermy during pouch life in the Eastern Barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii), a marsupial


Ikonomopoulou, MP and Rose, RW, The development of endothermy during pouch life in the Eastern Barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii), a marsupial, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 79, (3) pp. 468-473. ISSN 1522-2152 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/502819


Marsupials are born ectothermic and gradually become endothermic during pouch occupancy. In order to study the timing of this transition, we measured the metabolic rates of eight pouch-young eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) at 25°C (the thermoneutral zone of adults), at 35°C (pouch temperature), and after injection with norepinephrine. From 5 to 7 wk of age, oxygen consumption (V̇O2) was higher at 35°C than at 25°C. At 8 wk, V̇O2 was significantly higher at 25°C than at 35°C. Norepinephrine administration at 5 and 6 wk had no effect on metabolic rate, but at 8 wk, near pouch vacation, it resulted in a significant increase in metabolic rate. Our results indicate that signs of thermoregulation for P. gunnii begin at 7 wk, and at 8 wk the species is endothermic, that is, able to increase heat production in response to both cold and norepinephrine. The appearance of fur, first seen at the age of 6 wk and fully developed at 8 wk, coincides with the onset of endothermy. © 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Comparative physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Ikonomopoulou, MP (Ms Maria Ikonomopoulou)
UTAS Author:Rose, RW (Associate Professor Randy Rose)
ID Code:39534
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2007-04-26

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