Document Detail

Late development of homoeothermy in mink (Mustela vison) kits -- a strategy for maximum survival rate.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16422768     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The objective of this study was to establish the age at which mink kits develop functional homoeothermy. The investigation was based on the hypothesis that in this species with very immature neonates, late development of homoeothermy may be an adaptation to economize with energy. Measurements of heat production (HE) by means of indirect calorimetry lasting 3 h were performed on neonatal kits and kits from 1 to 54 days of age. Both single kits and groups of 4-5 huddling kits were kept at 15 degrees C (L) or 30 degrees C (H) [from 35 days onwards at 25 degrees C (H)]. Animals were weighed before and after the experiments and evaporative water losses (EWL) were calculated. When exposed to L temperature, single kits responded with a very low HE until 29 days of age, and groups of kits until 14 days of age. It was not until they reached an age of approximately 6 weeks that single kits showed a clear thermoregulatory response to the L temperature by increased HE, whereas groups of kits showed increased HE from 29th day onwards. When kept at H temperature, HE was low initially, but all kits showed elevated HE at 8 days of age, and the metabolic rate was similar for single kits and kits huddling in groups. Evaporative water losses was higher among single than among groups of kits and slightly lower but more variable for animals at L than at H temperature. It was concluded that mink kits develop functional homoeothermy at an age of close to 6 weeks and that the failure of very young kits to thermoregulate is an adaptation mechanism in order to economise with their very limited body energy reserves.
A-H Tauson; A Chwalibog; M P Tygesen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition     Volume:  90     ISSN:  0931-2439     ISO Abbreviation:  J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl)     Publication Date:  2006 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-20     Completed Date:  2006-05-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101126979     Medline TA:  J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl)     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  38-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Animal and Veterinary Basic Sciences, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / metabolism,  physiology*
Animals, Newborn / metabolism,  physiology
Body Surface Area / veterinary
Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
Body Weight / physiology
Calorimetry, Indirect / veterinary
Mink / metabolism,  physiology*
Survival Rate

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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