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1 June 2009 Thermal, Metabolic, and Hygric Physiology of the Little Red Kaluta, Dasykaluta rosamondae (Dasyuromorphia: Dasyuridae)
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Abstract

The little red kaluta (Dasykaluta rosamondae) is a small, insectivorous–carnivorous dasyurid marsupial found in arid spinifex grasslands of northwestern Australia. Kalutas resemble other dasyurids in many aspects of their physiology. Body temperature (Tb; 33.5°C; 1.5°C lower than predicted), wet thermal conductance (1.6 J g−1 h−1 °C−1; 91% of predicted), and dry thermal conductance (1.22 J g−1 h−1 °C−1; 55% of predicted) are not significantly different from allometric predictions for marsupials in the thermoneutral zone (26–33°C). A significantly lower-than-expected basal metabolic rate (0.55 ml O2 g−1 h−1; 58% of allometric prediction) and evaporative water loss (1.11 mg g−1 h−1; 39% of predicted) can be attributed to the combined effect of low Tb and phylogeny. Physiological adaptation to aridity is further reflected by a substantially smaller body mass (35 g) than predicted by phylogeny (200 g), a thermolabile Tb and use of torpor, which confer significant energy and water savings, and a high point of relative water economy (16.1°C).

P. C. Withers and C. E. Cooper "Thermal, Metabolic, and Hygric Physiology of the Little Red Kaluta, Dasykaluta rosamondae (Dasyuromorphia: Dasyuridae)," Journal of Mammalogy 90(3), 752-760, (1 June 2009). https://doi.org/10.1644/08-MAMM-A-286R.1
Received: 6 September 2008; Accepted: 1 October 2008; Published: 1 June 2009
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