Physiology: Hibernation in a tropical primate

  title={Physiology: Hibernation in a tropical primate},
  author={Kathrin H. Dausmann and Julian Glos and J{\"o}rg U. Ganzhorn and Gerhard Heldmaier},
The Madagascan fat-tailed dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus medius, hibernates in tree holes for seven months of the year, even though winter temperatures rise to over 30 °C. Here we show that this tropical primate relies on a flexible thermal response that depends on the properties of its tree hole: if the hole is poorly insulated, body temperature fluctuates widely, passively following the ambient temperature; if well insulated, body temperature stays fairly constant and the animal undergoes regular… 

Underground hibernation in a primate

The observation that eastern dwarf lemurs also hibernate, though in self-made underground hibernacula is reported for the first time, showing evidence that a clawless primate is able to bury itself below ground.

Hibernation in Malagasy mouse lemurs as a strategy to counter environmental challenge

It is emphasized that hibernation is an important measure to counter environmental challenge for more tropical species than previously thought, including primates, and evidence that tropical hibernation is functionally similar among tropical species is provided.

Spoilt for Choice: Selection of Hibernacula by Cheirogaleus medius

It is shown that large, well-insulated trees would allow a better controlled pattern of energy expenditure in hibernating animals rather than decreasing total amounts of energy expended.

Energetics of tropical hibernation

Tropical hibernation in C. medius is an effective, well-regulated adaptive response to survive unfavourable seasons, and the choice of the hibernaculum does not seem to be of energetic importance.

Optional strategies for reduced metabolism in gray mouse lemurs

These findings provide the first physiological confirmation that free-ranging individuals of M. murinus from the humid evergreen littoral rain forest have the option to utilize short torpor bouts or hibernation under the same conditions as two alternative energy-conserving physiological solutions to environmental constraints.

Torpor on Demand: Heterothermy in the Non-Lemur Primate Galago moholi

The results support the view that heterothermy in primates evolved before the division of African and Malagasy Strepsirhini, with the possible implication that more primate species than previously thought might still have the potential to call upon this possibility, if the situation necessitates it.

Torpor is not the only option: seasonal variations of the thermoneutral zone in a small primate

The combination of physiological modifications during euthermia in addition to hypometabolism, which can be individually adjusted according to external parameters and respective body condition, is important as it allows M. griseorufus to cope with the environmental variability of an energetically challenging habitat.

Torpor and hibernation in a basal placental mammal, the Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec Echinops telfairi

The patterns of heterothermy were measured in Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs, Echinops telfairi, under semi-natural conditions in an outdoor enclosure during the austral mid-winter in southwestern Madagascar, and the animal is considered to be a protoendotherm.

Seasonal adaptations in energy budgeting in the primate Lepilemur leucopus

These findings suggest that L. leucopus has a very small scope to unfavorable conditions, making it highly vulnerable to changing conditions due to climate change, and a shift of the thermoneutral zone from between 25 and 30 °C in the wet season to between 29 and 32‬C inThe cool dry season is identified.

No energetic benefits from sociality in tropical hibernation

It is concluded that sociality during hibernation is not necessarily driven by energetic demands and might even be energetically disadvantageous in tropical species (at least in larger groups), and other factors, like social coherence or ecological and behavioural constraints, may be of greater influence for the evolution of sociality under tropical conditions.



Mammalian hibernation: cellular and molecular responses to depressed metabolism and low temperature.

Detailed understanding of hibernation from the molecular to organismal levels should enable the translation of this information to the development of a variety of hypothermic and hypometabolic strategies to improve outcomes for human and animal health.

Tree Holes Used for Resting by Gray Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar: Insulation Capacities and Energetic Consequences

  • J. Schmid
  • Physics
    International Journal of Primatology
  • 2004
I studied the insulation capacity of tree holes used by gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in a primary dry deciduous forest in western Madagascar during the cool dry season. Tree holes had an

The Role of Energy Availability in Mammalian Hibernation: A Cost‐Benefit Approach

It is suggested that trade‐offs between the benefits of energy conservation and the physiological costs of metabolic depression can explain both why hibernators periodically arouse from torpor and why they should use available energy to minimize the depth and duration of their torpor bouts.

Time patterns and metabolic rates of natural torpor in the Richardson's ground squirrel

Using radiotelemetry for body-temperature sensing in field animals, torpor season in the Richardson's ground squirrel was found to commence from mid-July in adults and mid-September in juveniles and to terminate for both groups in mid-March.

Ecological, Physiological and Molecular Mechanisms (eds Carey, C

  • et al.) 175–183
  • 1993