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Effects of seasonal variation in prey abundance on field metabolism, water flux, and activity of a tropical ambush foraging snake

Christian, Keith A., Webb, Jonathan K., Schultz, Timothy and Green, Brian (2007). Effects of seasonal variation in prey abundance on field metabolism, water flux, and activity of a tropical ambush foraging snake. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology,80(5):522-533.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 80801157xPUB38
Title Effects of seasonal variation in prey abundance on field metabolism, water flux, and activity of a tropical ambush foraging snake
Author Christian, Keith A.
Webb, Jonathan K.
Schultz, Timothy
Green, Brian
Journal Name Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 80
Issue Number 5
ISSN 1537-5293   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-34548189196
Start Page 522
End Page 533
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Chicago, IL, United States
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Field of Research 0608 - Zoology
1116 - Medical Physiology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The responses of animals to seasonal food shortages can have important consequences for population dynamics and the structure and function of food webs. We investigated how an ambush foraging snake, the northern death adder Acanthophis praelongus, responds to seasonal fluctuations in prey availability in its tropical environment. In the dry season, field metabolic rates and water flux, as measured by doubly labeled water, were significantly lower than in the wet season. Unlike some other reptiles of the wet-dry tropics, death adders showed no seasonal difference in their resting metabolism. About 94% of the decrease in energy expended in the dry season was due to a decrease in activity and digestion, with lower body temperatures accounting for the remainder. In the dry season, death adders were less active and moved shorter distances between foraging sites than in the wet season. Analysis of energy expenditure suggested that adders fed no more than every 2-3 wk in the dry season but fed more frequently during the wet season. Unlike many lizards that cease feeding during the dry season, death adders remain active and attempt to maximize their energy intake year-round.
Keywords mottled rock rattlesnakes
wet-dry tropics
physiological ecology
crotalus-cerastes
frillneck lizard
energy budgets
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/519959   (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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