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Changes in rhythmicity of mammals to cope with low food intake and high energy expenditure

Zomeren, L.M. van (2009) Changes in rhythmicity of mammals to cope with low food intake and high energy expenditure. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

The struggle for life takes many forms, but almost every aspect involves energy. Without this energy, life would not exist. Free-living animals face different energy demands in different seasons, because of seasonal differences in ambient temperature, reproduction, food availability and other factors. If they do not or cannot increase their energy intake, they will start to loose weight and/or experience other deleterious effects like decreased fertility, increased mortality and other fitness loss. Therefore many animals have evolved means of lowering the energy expenditure to better match the energy intake. By doing so they can reach a different energy balance and can limit their weight loss and the other harmful effects. The means of reducing the energy expenditure can be divided into four categories; structural adaptations (i.e. a thicker pelage), physiological adaptations (i.e. digestive efficiency), behavioral adaptations and adaptations in rhythmicity. In this paper the focus lies entirely on the adaptations in rhythmicity to reduce energy expenditure. Adaptations in rhythmicity include hibernation, daily torpor and time of activity. The animal can change its regular activity rhythm according to the new circumstances and can thereby reduce energy expenditure. The precise options an animals has to use changes in their circadian or annual activity rhythm to reduced energy expenditure are not always clear. This review article is intended to provide an overview to the precise methods animals employ to use changes in their circadian or annual activity rhythm to reduce energy expenditure when food availability is low. The methods that are used are described and its costs and benefits illustrated by some exemplar species.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/8526

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