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Study of the Molt of Small Forest Mammals

Authors
  • Ivanter, E. V.1, 2
  • 1 Petrozavodsk State University, Petrozavodsk, 185035, Russia , Petrozavodsk (Russia)
  • 2 Karelian Research Center Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrozavodsk, 185000, Russia , Petrozavodsk (Russia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biology Bulletin Reviews
Publisher
Pleiades Publishing
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2021
Volume
11
Issue
Suppl 1
Pages
94–110
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1134/S2079086421070045
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Yellow

Abstract

AbstractA regular change of fur is of particularly important for small insectivores and rodents, since these animals exist under conditions of constant thermal deficits and spend a lot of time in the forest floor and burrows and constantly make contact with hard substrate. According to studies, the timing and intensity of molting depend on the environmental conditions and the physiological state of the animals. The results show that the characteristics and rate of molting change in individuals of different sex and age groups. This can serve as an indicator of the state of the entire population or a signal of serious impairments of important ecological, physiological, or population processes. The collected data indicate the absence of significant species differences in the timing, intensity, and course of seasonal molting, while the relationship with the sex, age, and state of the population was revealed quite clearly. In studies of the most common species, shrews and rodents in Karelia, we found stability and uniformity in the molting sequence, which does not depend on the animal lifestyle. In most species, molting occurs according to a sublateral (dorsal) scheme, in which the new hair appears first on the lower sides of the sides and head, followed by the belly back, and ending with the top of the head and the back.

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