Thermogenic capacity of three species of fruit-eating phyllostomid bats
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This study evaluated the thermogenic capacity of three species of fruit-eating phyllostomid bats (Carollia perspicillata, Sturnira lilium and Artibeus lituratus) during the dry-cool and wet-warm seasons, by measuring changes in body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), maximal metabolic rate (MMR), nonshivering thermogenesis and shivering thermogenesis. Body mass was lower, on average, during the dry-cool season and all species of fruit-eating bats showed an increase in oxygen consumption after noradrenaline injection and after exposure to a He-O(2) atmosphere. However, the magnitude of this increase was similar in both seasons. BMR also did not vary between seasons. Although, our results showed for the first time that all three species studied were able to increase thermogenesis by both nonshivering and shivering thermogenesis, we did not find significant differences in any thermoregulatory variable measured when comparing data from the two different seasons. Probably the difference in the mean and variance of the temperature profile between seasons were not strong enough to alter the thermogenic capacity of these species. Furthermore, the use of alternative physiological (torpor) or behavioral (huddling) strategies might have alleviated the need to trigger energetic-costly thermogenic responses. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.