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Zhu W.-L.,Yunnan Normal University | Zhu W.-L.,The Key Laboratory of Biomass Energy and Environmental Biotechnology in Yunnan Province | Jia T.,Yunnan Normal University | Jia T.,The Key Laboratory of Biomass Energy and Environmental Biotechnology in Yunnan Province | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Thermal Biology | Year: 2012

Environmental factors play an important role in the seasonal adaptation of body mass and thermogenesis in small mammals. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that ambient temperature triggers adjustments in body mass, body temperature, energy intake, digestible energy intake, metabolic energy intake, and the length and weight of the digestive tract, in Apodemus draco during 42 days of cold exposure. Body mass and body temperature of the cold-acclimated group decreased during the first 28 days and then stabilized at the lower levels. After 14 days of cold acclimation, the body mass of the cold-exposed group was significantly lower and the energy intake, digestible energy intake, and metabolic energy intake were significantly elevated relative to control animals. The differences were maximal after 21 days. The length and weight of the digestive tract (both wet and dry mass of the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and cecum) changed significantly in response to decreasing temperature. During cold exposure, A. draco was able to maintain physiological functions and reduce its absolute energy demands by reducing the body mass, increasing energy intake, and adjusting the length of the digestive tract. © 2011. Source

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