Differential energy costs of winter acclimatized common spiny mice Acomys cahirinus from two adjacent habitats

Michael Scantlebury, U. Shanas, H. Kupshtein, J.R. Speakman, A. Haim

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The common spiny mouse Acomys cahirinus, of Ethiopian origin, has a widespread distribution across arid, semi-arid and Mediterranean parts of the Arabian sub-region. We compared the daily energy expenditure (DEE), water turnover NTTO) and sustained metabolic scope (SusMS = DEE/resting metabolic rate) of two adjacent populations during the winter. Mice were captured from North- and South- facing slopes (NFS and SFS) of the same valley, comprising mesic and xeric habitats, respectively. Both DEE and SusMS winter values were greater in NFS than SFS mice and were significantly greater than values previously measured in the summer for these two populations in the same environments. However, WTO values were consistent with previously established values and were not significantly different from allometric predictions for desert eutherians. We suggest that physiological plasticity in energy expenditure, which exists both temporally and spatially, combined with stable WTO, perhaps reflecting a xeric ancestry, has enabled A. cahirinus to invade a wide range of habitats. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology


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