n African Zoology - Daily and seasonal differences in body and egg temperature in free-ranging crowned lapwings ()

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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The abdominal body temperatures (Tb) and egg temperatures of free-ranging crowned lapwings on both a daily and seasonal scale were examined. A range in Tb of 8.8<sup>o</sup>C was measured during the course of the study, with a bird in late spring entering shallow torpor on all nights measured. Both daily and seasonal differences in Tb and egg temperature (Tegg) occurred. Daily differences in Tb are probably a result of daily circadian rhythms and the use of nocturnal heterothermy, while seasonal differences are explained by changes in ambient temperature and possibly circannual rhythms. A range in Tegg of 24.2<sup>o</sup>C occurred. The concept of optimum incubation temperature for a species is reconsidered. Differences between and within species may not be as a result of phylogenetic differences as previously reported, but may be as a result of relatively short-term changes in response to ambient temperature changes.

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