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Thermoregulatory significance of basking behaviour in the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)

Journal of Thermal Biology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0306-4565(88)90029-0
  • Raccoon Dog
  • Coat Colour
  • Basking Behaviour
  • Blue Fox
  • Thermal Radiation


Abstract 1. 1.|The raccoon dogs frequently basked in spring while keeping their dark chest area towards the sun. The importance of this behaviour for the thermal balance was examined by using a cylinder model, and the results were compared with that of the blue fox which has pale chest and no basking behaviour. 2. 2.|With no external radiation source, cooling rates of blue fox and racoon dog models were almost equal, while in the sunshine with the chest area towards the sun, raccoon dog gained and blue fox lost heat. 3. 3.|In the same sunshine, the raccoon dog lost heat if its back area was towards the sun in comparison with the situation when the chest area was towards the sun. 4. 4.|Temperatures at the skin level were much higher for sun-exposed raccoon dogs than blue foxes especially on the chest area. 5. 5.|It is concluded that the hair coat structure of the raccoon dog is especially favourable for trapping heat from the sun, and with postural adjustments the animal takes maximal advantage of this free heat.

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