Daily Heterothermy in Mammals: Coping with Unpredictable Environments

  • Barry G. Lovegrove
Conference paper


Zoogeographical patterns of daily heterothermy in mammals show that the Afrotropical and Australasian zones have the highest number of species, genera and orders exhibiting daily torpor. The Palaearctic has the lowest incidence of daily torpor. The Australasian and the Afrotropical zones also showed the highest incidences of summer torpor and torpor in desert species. These patterns suggest an association of daily torpor with unpredictable environments (low inclement energetic gains), versus an association of hibernation with predictably cold seasons (high inclement energetic costs).


Mouse Lemur Daily Torpor Desert Species Elephant Shrew Honey Possum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry G. Lovegrove
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Botany and ZoologyUniversity of NatalScottsvilleSouth Africa

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