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Title: Thermal relations of dwarf caiman, Paleosuchus palpebrosus, in a hillside stream: Evidence for an unusual thermal niche among crocodilians
Authors: Campos, Zilca M.S.
Magnusson, William Ernest
Keywords: Adaptation
Air Temperature
Animals Experiment
Anthropometric Parameters
Body Mass
Body Temperature Monitoring
Burrowing Species
Controlled Study
Ecological Niche
Environmental Temperature
Paleosuchus Palpebrosus
Physical Tolerance
Seasonal Variation
Snout Vent Length
Water Temperature
Alligators And Crocodiles
Body Temperature
Sex Factors
Crocodylidae (all Crocodiles)
Paleosuchus Palpebrosus
Issue Date: 2013
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Journal of Thermal Biology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 38, Número 1, Pags. 20-23
Abstract: Body temperatures of 13 Paleosuchus palpebrosus, 7 males and 6 females, were monitored by radio-telemetry during cold periods (dry season) and warm periods (wet and dry seasons) in a stream draining into the Brazilian Pantanal. The mass of the caimans varied from 2.5 to 20.0. kg, and snout-vent length from 47.5 to 95.0. cm. Mean monthly body temperature was 21.6 °C, and varied from 20.1 to 25.6 °C throughout the year. Body temperature was correlated with air and water temperature but did not differ between males and females. Unlike all other crocodilians investigated in detail to date, the caimans did not show evidence of attempts to obtain higher body temperatures when ambient temperatures were low, and had low and generally constant temperatures in relation to the surrounding air and water throughout the year. The caimans remained in burrows during cold periods in the dry season, which may explain why they did not seek higher temperatures. Tolerance of relatively low and constant body temperatures may be a key adaptation of species of Paleosuchus, allowing them to occupy environments inhospitable to other crocodilians. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2012.09.004
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