Variation in body temperature in free-ranging western grey kangaroos macropus fuliginosus

Shane Maloney, A. Fuller, P.R. Kamerman, G. Mitchell, D. Mitchell

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    Abstract

    Using implanted temperature loggers we measured temperature in the carotid artery in five (4 male, 1 female) western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) every 5 min for between 39 and 74 days. Dry bulb temperature during the study ranged from an average minimum of (mean ± SD) 11 ± 3°C to maximum of 24 ± 5°C. Black globe temperature measured in the southern shade of a grass tree, the habitat chosen by kangaroos during the day, ranged from an average minimum of 10 ± 4°C to an average maximum of 30 ± 6°C. There were nine days where maximum shade globe temperature exceeded 40°C. Carotid blood temperature averaged 36.5 ± 0.1°C (n = 5), ranging from an average minimum of 35.5 ± 0.3°C to a maximum of 37.3 ± 0.1°C The resultant average daily range was 1.8 ± 0.3°C. Body temperature was highest during the night and dropped rapidly early in the morning, reaching a nadir at 1000 hours, after ambient temperature and solar radiation had begun increasing. Body temperature then rose gradually during the day to reach a peak in the early evening. The nychthemeral variation in carotid blood temperature was largely independent of ambient conditions. There was a weak but significant association between early morning radiation levels and the minimum body temperature reached, suggesting that peripheral warming influences the morning decrease in core temperature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-144
    JournalAustralian Mammalogy
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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    Maloney, S., Fuller, A., Kamerman, P. R., Mitchell, G., & Mitchell, D. (2004). Variation in body temperature in free-ranging western grey kangaroos macropus fuliginosus. Australian Mammalogy, 26(2), 135-144.