oa African Zoology - Circadian activity rhythms in colonies of 'blind' molerats, Cryptomys damarensis (Bathyergidae)

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Various activity rhythms (general, feeding, and toilet) were measured under controlled laboratory conditions in two colonies of the Damara molerat Cryptomys damarensis, for 140 consecutive days (following a 30 day test period) under various photoperiod regimes (16: 8 LD, 12: 12 LD, and constant dark DD). As a general rule, all activities showed a significant diurnal rhythm with a period of 24 h under LD photoperiods. However, under a 16 : 8 LD photoperiod a very prominent activity component during the first part of the subjective night was observed, especially following a shift in photoperiod. The molerats responded rapidly to LD phase shifts.

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