Navigation Links
Primate hibernation more common than previously thought
Date:5/2/2013

DURHAM, N.C. -- Until recently, the only primate known to hibernate as a survival strategy was a creature called the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur, a tropical tree-dweller from the African island of Madagascar.

But it turns out this hibernating lemur isn't alone. In a study appearing May 2 in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers report that two other little-known lemurs -- Crossley's dwarf lemur and Sibree's dwarf lemur -- burrow into the soft, spongy rainforest floor in the eastern part of Madagascar, curl up and spend the next three to seven months snoozing underground.

By comparing the hibernation habits of eastern dwarf lemurs and their western counterparts, researchers hope to shed light on what sends hibernating animals into standby mode, and whether lemurs -- our closest genetic relatives known to hibernate -- do it differently from other hibernating animals.

"Exactly what triggers hibernation is still an open question," said lead author Marina Blanco a postdoctoral researcher at the Duke Lemur Center.

Unlike animals such as bears and ground squirrels, which hibernate to survive the cold, western dwarf lemurs hibernate to survive during western Madagascar's long dry season -- a time when temperatures top 85 degrees, trees drop their leaves and food and water are in short supply.

But the hibernation habits of Madagascar's eastern dwarf lemurs, whose homes include high-altitude forests where winter temperatures occasionally dip below freezing, were poorly known.

"It's a very different environment," Blanco said.

To find out more, Blanco and her colleagues trapped and fitted the squirrel-sized animals with temperature-sensitive radio collars before the start of the hibernation season, allowing them to find the lemurs' underground burrows and monitor their body temperature once hibernation began.

Hibernating animals tend to breathe more slowly, drop their heart rate and lower their body temperature, becoming inactive for days at a time. Dwarf lemurs are no exception.

"To the casual observer, it looks for all the world as if the animals are dead. Their bodies are cold, they are utterly still and they take a breath only once every several minutes or so," said co-author Anne Yoder, director of the Duke Lemur Center.

Western dwarf lemurs hibernate in drafty tree holes, where their body temperature fluctuates by as much as 20 degrees with the outside air. But the researchers found that eastern dwarf lemurs keep their body temperatures more constant in cozy underground burrows.

The research suggests that lemur hibernation -- and therefore primate hibernation -- may not be so different after all. "Maybe these lemurs, though they live in the tropics, look more like temperate hibernators than we thought," Blanco said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karl Leif Bates
karl.bates@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Good news for nanomedicine: Quantum dots appear safe in pioneering study on primates
2. Manipulation of a specific neural circuit buried in complicated brain networks in primates
3. Out of the mouths of primates, facial mechanics of human speech may have evolved
4. Transgenic technique to eliminate a specific neural circuit of the brain in primates
5. The old primates club: Even male monkeys ride their fathers coattails to success
6. Primate of the opera: What soprano singing apes on helium reveal about the human voice
7. Primates brains make visual maps using triangular grids
8. UTSA anthropologist honored for contributions researching primates in Africa
9. Discovered! The new species of Borneos enigmatic primate with a toxic bite
10. 3 new species of venomous primate identified by MU researcher
11. Primates too can move in unison
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 2, 2016  Based ... market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal ... Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation. ... in North America , is ... the rapidly growing diabetic retinopathy market. The IRIS ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... Jan. 28, 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a ... its second quarter ended December 31, 2015. ... of fiscal 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter ... of fiscal 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... income for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , January 22, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... to their offering. --> ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... China , Feb. 4, 2016 Beike ... and various medical institutions attended a ceremony in late ... integrative, personalized cell therapy in 2016. ... "Shenzhen Clinical Translation Platform for Personalized Cell Therapy" was ... Regional Cell Production Center, both subsidiaries of Beike Biotechnology ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... and MENLO PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, ... and the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development ... will present at the 18 th Annual BIO ... at 10:00 a.m. EST in New York, NY ... and CEO, will provide an update on the ongoing clinical ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today ... Conference 2016, to be held February 8-9, 2016, at ... 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, taking place in ... 2016. James Sapirstein , Chief Executive Officer ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... BEIJING , Feb. 4, 2016 Sinovac ... ), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in ... committee of its board of directors received on February ... 3, 2016, from a consortium comprised of PKU V-Ming ... Sinobioway Biomedicine Co., Ltd., CICC Qianhai Development ( ...
Breaking Biology Technology: