Effect of air temperature on energy and water balance of Psammomys obesus

M. Kam, A. A. Degen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Fat sand rats are diurnal, desert-dwelling gerbillid rodents that can survive while consuming solely the saltbush Atriplex halimus, a chenopod high in electrolytes. To reduce electrolyte intake, fat sand rats scape off the outer layers of leaves with their teeth before consuming them. They maintained body mass at 21°C, gained body mass at 34°C, but lost body mass at 15°C. Dry matter intake was not significantly different among treatments, but dry matter digestibility and metabolizable energy of A. halimus was higher for fat sand rats at 34°C than at 15 and 21°C. Fat sand rats at 34°C produced the most concentrated urine and scraped off the most leaf material. As a result these fat sand rats secreted the lowest volume of urine, thus providing them with water required for evaporative cooling. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992


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