The implication of small reductions in body temperature for radiant and convective heat loss in resting endothermic brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus)

Peter I. Webb*, John R. Speakman, Paul A. Racey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. 1.|Dorsal surface temperature (Ts) and rectal temperature (Tb) were measured in four captive endothermic brown long-eared bats, Plecotus auritus, resting at ambient temperatures (Ta) of 5, 15 and 25°C. 2. 2.|A heat flux model for the bats was derived and the reduction in radiant and convective heat loss associated with small reductions in Tb were predicted from thoeretical equations. 3. 3.|A drop in body temperature from the maximum (38.2°C) to the minimum (31.5°C) recorded value was estimated to produce energy savings through a reduction in gross radiant and convective heat loss of 25 and 44% of metabolic heat production at ambient temperatures of 5 and 25°C, respectively. 4. 4.|We suggest that small reductions in body temperature offer resting thermolabile bats a compromise between rapid behavioural function associated with high body temperature and low energy demand associated with torpor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 1993

Keywords

  • Body temperature
  • brown long-eared bat
  • convection
  • Plecotus auritus
  • surface temperature
  • thermal radiation

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