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Sensible heat transfer and thermal windows in Dasyprocta leporina (Mammalia, Rodentia)

de Queiroz, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes, de Souza, João Batista Freire, de Morais Oliveira, Vanessa Raquel, de Souza Castelo, Thibério, Tavares Dantas, Maiko Roberto, de Macedo Costa, Leonardo Lelis, de Oliveira, Moacir Franco
Biological rhythm research 2019 v.50 no.2 pp. 232-244
Dasyprocta leporina, captive animals, convection, diurnal variation, hindlimbs, rodents, semiarid zones, surface temperature, thermography
This study aimed to evaluate the diurnal variation of the sensible heat transfer in red-rumped agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina) bred in captivity in a semi-arid environment. In addition, we seek to identify thermal windows by infrared thermography during the daytime period (07:00, 09:00, 11:00, 14:00, and 16:00). The body surface temperature was higher in the pinna (36.84 ± 0.11 °C), followed by the hind limbs (36.55 ± 0.11 °C). These body regions were primarily responsible for heat loss by radiation (which was 10.13 ± 1.17 W m⁻² and 11.19 ± 1.17 W m⁻², respectively), and acted like biological thermal windows. Heat transfer by convection was more intense in the body trunk and hind limbs at all times of the day. Thus, sensible heat transfer is important for maintaining homeothermy in red-rumped agouti in hot environments. In conclusion, these rodents use specialized body regions (pinna and hind limbs) for heat transfer.