Terence J Dawson

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1. The insulation of the pelt of the koala (0.529 °C W−1m2 in still air) is the highest reported for a marsupial. The fur also has a high level of insulative resistance to wind. The dorsal surface is more densely furred and less reflective of solar radiation than the ventral surface and different postural adjustments, particularly in relation to wind(More)
Generally, young growing mammals have resting metabolic rates (RMRs) that are proportionally greater than those of adult animals. This is seen in the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), a large (>20 kg) herbivorous marsupial common to arid and semi-arid inland Australia. Juvenile red kangaroos have RMRs 1.5–1.6 times those expected for adult marsupials of an(More)
This study of marsupial hearts explored the aerobic capacities of this group of mammals; recent information suggests that marsupials possess higher aerobic abilities than previously accepted. Characteristics such as heart mass, mitochondrial features and capillary parameters were examined. A comprehensive study of the heart of red kangaroos was included(More)
We examined thermoregulation in red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) from deserts and in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) from mesic forests/woodlands. Desert kangaroos have complex evaporative heat loss mechanisms, but the relative importance of these mechanisms is unclear. Little is known of the abilities of grey kangaroos. Our detailed study of(More)
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) occurs mostly in the wetter regions of eastern Australia. However, in the past 30–40 years it has moved into more arid regions (rainfall<250 mm), thus increasing its overlap zone with the xeric adapted Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus). An increased access to water (supplied for domestic stock) may explain this(More)
Digestion and energy metabolism in an arboreal marsupial, the koalaPhascolarctos cinereus, fed mature foliage from a common food tree, the grey gumEucalyptus punctata, were investigated. Six feeding (balance) experiments, at various times of year, and one slaughter experiment were performed and average daily oxygen consumption was measured. The average(More)
The population dynamics of red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) in the Australian arid zone is tightly linked with environmental factors, which partly operate via the survival of juvenile animals. A crucial stage is the young-at-foot (YAF) stage when kangaroos permanently exit the pouch. We have examined the thermal biology of YAF red kangaroos during ages from(More)
The locomotory characteristics of kangaroos and wallabies are unusual, with both energetic costs and gait parameters differing from those of quadrupedal running mammals. The kangaroos and wallabies have an evolutionary history of only around 5 million years; their closest relatives, the rat-kangaroos, have a fossil record of more than 26 million years. We(More)
We studied ventilation in kangaroos from mesic and arid environments, the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), respectively, within the range of ambient temperatures (T(a)) from -5 degrees to 45 degrees C. At thermoneutral temperatures (Ta=25 degrees C), there were no differences between the species in(More)
Ventilation was studied in the emu, a large flightless bird of mass 40kg, within the range of ambient temperatures from-5 to 45°C. Data for the emu and 21 other species were used to calculate allometric relationships for resting ventilatory parameters in birds (breath frequency=13.5 mass-0.314; tidal volume=20.7 mass1.0). At low ambient temperatures the(More)