Keeping cool in the heat: behavioral thermoregulation and body temperature patterns in wild vervet monkeys

McFarland, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8245-9269, Barrett, L., Costello, M., Fuller, A., Hetem, R.S., Maloney, S.K., Mitchell, D. and Henzi, P.S., 2020. Keeping cool in the heat: behavioral thermoregulation and body temperature patterns in wild vervet monkeys. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 171 (3), pp. 407-418. ISSN 0002-9483

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Abstract

Objectives: Climate change is having a significant impact on biodiversity and increasing attention is therefore being devoted to identifying the behavioral strategies that a species uses to cope with climatic stress. We explore how wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) respond to heat stress, and how behavioral adaptations are used to regulate body temperature.

Materials and methods: We implanted wild vervet monkeys with temperature-sensitive data loggers and related the body temperature rhythms of these animals to their use of thermoregulatory behaviors.

Results: Environmental temperature had a positive effect on the mean, minima and maxima of daily body temperatures. Environmental temperature had a positive effect on the amount of time that vervet monkeys spent in the shade, and animals that spent more time in the shade had lower body temperature maxima. Drinking water did not have a proximate effect on body temperature, most likely a consequence of their regular access to drinking water. Body temperatures were observed to decrease after swimming events, but tended to return to pre-swim temperatures within 1 hr, suggesting a limited thermal benefit of this behavior.

Conclusions: Our data support the view that vervet monkeys cope well in the heat, and use behavior as a means to aid thermoregulation. The ability of primates to be flexible in their use of thermoregulatory behaviors can contribute positively to their capacity to cope with environmental variability. However, given its broad effect on plant productivity and habitat loss, climate change is a major threat to species' biogeographical distribution and survival.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Creators: McFarland, R., Barrett, L., Costello, M., Fuller, A., Hetem, R.S., Maloney, S.K., Mitchell, D. and Henzi, P.S.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: March 2020
Volume: 171
Number: 3
ISSN: 0002-9483
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/ajpa.23962DOI
1492336Other
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McFarland, R., Barrett, L., Costello, M., Fuller, A., Hetem, R. S., Maloney, S. K., …Henzi, P. S. (2020). Keeping cool in the heat: behavioral thermoregulation and body temperature patterns in wild vervet monkeys. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 171(3), 407-418, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23962 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 15 Nov 2021 15:13
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 15:13
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44786

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