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Standard metabolic rate and preferred body temperatures in some Asutralian pythons

Bedford, Gavin S. and Christian, Keith A. (1998). Standard metabolic rate and preferred body temperatures in some Asutralian pythons. Australian Journal of Zoology,46(4):317-328.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Standard metabolic rate and preferred body temperatures in some Asutralian pythons
Author Bedford, Gavin S.
Christian, Keith A.
Journal Name Australian Journal of Zoology
Publication Date 1998
Volume Number 46
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0004-959X   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 317
End Page 328
Place of Publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Pythons have standard metabolic rates and preferred body temperatures that are lower than those of most other reptiles. This study investigated metabolic rates and preferred body temperatures of seven taxa of Australian pythons. We found that Australian pythons have particularly low metabolic rates when compared with other boid snakes, and that the metabolic rates of the pythons did not change either seasonally or on a daily cycle. Preferred body temperatures do vary seasonally in some species but not in others. Across all species and seasons, the preferred body temperature range was only 4.9˚C. The thermal sensitivity (Q10) of oxygen consumption by pythons conformed to the established range of between 2 and 3. Allometric equations for the pooled python data at each of the experimental temperatures gave an equation exponent of 0.72–0.76, which is similar to previously reported values. By having low preferred body temperatures and low metabolic rates, pythons appear to be able to conserve energy while still maintaining a vigilant ‘sit and wait’ predatory existence. These physiological attributes would allow pythons to maximise the time they can spend ‘sitting and waiting’ in the pursuit of prey.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO98019   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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