Strategic (adaptive) hypothermia in bull dromedary camels during rut; could it increase reproductive success?

Grigg, Gordon, Beard, Lyn, Dorges, Birgit, Heucke, Jurgen, Coventry, Jocelyn, Coppock, Alex and Blomberg, Simon (2009) Strategic (adaptive) hypothermia in bull dromedary camels during rut; could it increase reproductive success?. Biology Letters, 5 6: 853-856. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0450


Author Grigg, Gordon
Beard, Lyn
Dorges, Birgit
Heucke, Jurgen
Coventry, Jocelyn
Coppock, Alex
Blomberg, Simon
Title Strategic (adaptive) hypothermia in bull dromedary camels during rut; could it increase reproductive success?
Journal name Biology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-9561
Publication date 2009-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0450
Volume 5
Issue 6
Start page 853
End page 856
Total pages 4
Editor Brian Charlesworth
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
C1
Abstract In this study of body temperatures (Tb) in free ranging dromedary camels, we found that bulls in rut start the days cooler. Daily minima during rut averaged 0.6°C lower than at other times (95% CI 0.27–0.94°C) and daily maxima averaged 0.45°C higher (95% CI −0.01 to –0.91°C), increasing the daily Tb cycle. Knut Schmidt-Nielsen described a similar pattern in captive dromedaries deprived of water in hot conditions, which he interpreted as a strategy to conserve water. Our observations were made in winter and with water freely available. Dromedaries can apparently employ heterothermy for more than just water conservation. In the strenuous daily contests between rival bulls in rut, a lower Tb early in the day should extend the time for which a contestant can challenge or defend before heat stress becomes a problem. Calculations show that lowering Tb by even 0.6°C extends that time by more than 30 min, and many daily minima during rut were lower than that. Because the eventual winner of contests gains or retains a herd of females, we speculate that cooler Tb at the start of daily contests confers an advantage which translates directly into increased reproductive success.
Keyword Adaptive heterothermy
Camels
Rut
Reproductive fitness
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 29 Nov 2009, 00:05:53 EST