Is the naked mole-rat Hererocephalus glaber an endothermic yet poikilothermic mammal?

Rochelle Buffenstein, Shlomo Yahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


1. 1. Thermoregulatory changes with ambient temperature (Ta) were monitored in Heterocephalus glaber between 12 and 37°C. 2. 2. At all Tas monitored, body temperature (Tb) was directly proportional to Ta (Tb = 0.568 + 10016 Ta). 3. 3. Below Ta 29°C, V̇O2 varied in a typically poikilothermic pattern, whereas above 29°C, V̇O2 followed a typically endothermic pattern. 4. 4. At Tas between 31 and 34°C, V̇O2 was minimal (1.00 ± 0.09 ml/g/h), skin temperature was 1.8 ± 0.6°C lower than Tb and evaporative water loss accounted for 173.7 ± 51.0% of the metabolic heat produced. 5. 5. The high rates of heat transfer are such that individual naked mole-rats cannot regulate Tb over the entire range of measured Tas and, as such, are poikilothermic mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991


  • Poikilothermic mammal
  • body temperature
  • endothermy
  • high evaporative water loss
  • skin temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Developmental Biology


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