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Hypoxic survival differs between two mole rat species (Spalax ehrenbergi) of humid and arid habitats

Authors
Journal
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A Physiology
0300-9629
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
100
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0300-9629(91)90367-l
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Abstract 1. 1. Two chromosomal species, 2 n = 52 and 2 n =60 of the mole rat superspecies ( Spalax ehrenbergi), occupy humid (2 n = 52) and arid (2 n = 60) habitats in Israel. 2. 2. Gas conductivity of the soil of the 2 n = 52 mole rat is lower than that of the 2 n = 60 mole rat, and the 2 n = 52 mole rat is better adapted to hypoxia. 3. 3. The hypothesis that the 2 n = 52 mole rat can survive to a lower pO 2 than the 2 n = 60 mole rat was tested. 4. 4. Terminal pO 2 (Torr) of four females 2 n = 52 was lower, 18.0 ± 2.9 (SD), than the terminal pO 2 of five females 2 n = 60, 28.2 ± 5.1 (SD). 5. 5. The hypoxic survival of the 2 n = 52 mole rat as compared to that of the 2 n = 60 mole rat correlates with other physiological traits: breathing and heart frequencies, blood hemoglobin and tissue gas tensions.

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