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Condensation onto the skin as a means for water gain by tree frogs in tropical Australia

Tracy, Christopher R., Laurence, Nathalie and Christian, Keith A. (2011). Condensation onto the skin as a means for water gain by tree frogs in tropical Australia. The American Naturalist,178(4):553-558.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB60
Title Condensation onto the skin as a means for water gain by tree frogs in tropical Australia
Author Tracy, Christopher R.
Laurence, Nathalie
Christian, Keith A.
Journal Name The American Naturalist
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 178
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0003-0147   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-80053247149
Start Page 553
End Page 558
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Chicago, United States
Publisher University of Chicago Press
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Green tree frogs, Litoria caerulea, in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia remain active during the dry season with apparently no available water and temperatures that approach their lower critical temperature. We hypothesized that this surprising activity might be because frogs that are cooled during nighttime activity gain water from condensation by returning to a warm, humid tree hollow. We measured the mass gained when a cool frog moved into either a natural or an artificial hollow. In both hollows, water condensed on cool L. caerulea, resulting in water gains of up to 0.93% of body mass. We estimated that the water gained was more than the water that would be lost to evaporation during activity. The use of condensation as a means for water gain may be a significant source of water uptake for species like L. caerulea that occur in areas where free water is unavailable over extended periods.

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