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Thursday, March 01, 2012

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Naked Mole Rats

"Lifestyle of Naked Mole Rats Contains Lifesaving Clues":

From Science Daily

The authors write about brain cell adaptations to low oxygen levels, as expected in the burrows these mammals live in. Another probably adaptation to systemic hypoxia is a body temperature which conforms to the environment, so that less oxygen is presumably required to maintain a stable body temperature. This was mentioned in an article in New Scientist in 1987 by L Gamlin, "Rodents Join the Commune".

Wikipedia on the naked mole rat

I mention naked mole rats in the paper below which I wrote for Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology in 1990. They are unusual in not controlling the temperature of their entire body, but some animals that dive or burrow or cling tightly to branches (like sloths and lorises), all of which reduce the blood flow to the limbs, keep their limbs cool using retia mirabilia including vascular bundles:

The Mammalian Rete Mirabile and Oxygen Availability

This is also mentioned here:

Wikipedia on retia mirabilia

My paper was cited in this edition of Tom Grant's standard work on the platypus:

The Platypus

In the latest (4th) edition, the citation is not present.


Julian

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