The allometry of burrow geometry

White, Craig R. (2005) The allometry of burrow geometry. Journal of Zoology, 265 4: 395-403. doi:10.1017/S0952836905006473

Author White, Craig R.
Title The allometry of burrow geometry
Journal name Journal of Zoology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0952-8369
Publication date 2005-04-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1017/S0952836905006473
Open Access Status
Volume 265
Issue 4
Start page 395
End page 403
Total pages 9
Editor Nigel Bennett
Place of publication London, U.K
Publisher Blackwell Publishing for the Zoological Society of London
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The allometric relationship between body mass and burrow cross-sectional area for burrowing animals holds across greater than six orders of magnitude variation in body mass, and includes species separated by > 500 million years of evolution from two phyla (Arthropoda and Chordata), seven classes (Arachnida, Insecta, Malacostraca, Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, and Mammalia) and both terrestrial and marine habitats. Only birds, which construct relatively large burrows, and vermiform animals, which construct relatively narrow burrows, are separated from the remaining burrowing species. No difference is found between fossorial (burrowing animals that forage beneath the soil surface) and semi-fossorial (burrowing animals that forage terrestrially) mammals, suggesting that subterranean foragers do not modify burrow cross-sectional area to increase energy yields. However, solitary fossorial mammals do construct significantly larger nest chambers than semi-fossorial and colonial fossorial mammals. These large nest chambers probably assist in maintaining body temperature by providing a better thermally insulated microenvironment. This offsets the thermoregulatory problems faced by these animals, which are characterized by low, labile body temperatures and poor thermoregulatory ability. Colonial fossorial mammals, on the other hand, construct nest chambers that are the same relative size as those constructed by semi-fossorial mammals and probably maintain homeothermy by huddling with endothermic nest-mates.
© 2005 The Zoological Society of London.
Keyword Zoology
Common mole-rat
European bee-eater
Pocket gopher
Prairie dog
Subterranean mammals
Southeastern Idaho
Sound production
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This document is a journal review.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 37 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 33 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 29 Mar 2008, 01:28:27 EST