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Flashcards in Animals In The Extemes Deck (21)
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How is haemoglobin adapted at high altitude environments?

It has higher oxygen affinity


Small animals have a large surface area to volume ratio, what are the issues with temperature and water?

Temperature: risk of overheating and temperature loss during nights

Water: larger surface area leads to increased evaporation


What are the three main strategies in desert animals?



What do evaders do?

Avoid exposure to extreme climates due to rhythmic activity patterns, burrowing, estivation (summer sleep)


What do evaporators do?

Dependent on a reasonable water supply to allow them to cool down by the use of evaporation


What do endurers do?

Usually large mammals and can tolerate high fluctuations in body temperature and hydration


Where can microclimates in the desert occur?

10cm below the sand conditions are more stable


What are some examples of locomotor tricks in desert animals?

Alternating feet in desert lizards, sidewinder snakes and cartwheeling desert spiders


What are the morphological tricks of the desert snail in order to avoid over heating?

Highly reflective surface (95% reflection of sunlight)

Apex of shell is cooler inside and the snail will retract into this compartment during the day


What is Allen’s rule?

Animals adapted to cold climates have shorter limbs and body appendages than animals adapted to warm climates


What are the morphological tricks of the black tailed jackrabbit?

Specialised areas of bare skin which contains a network of blood vessels for heat exchange (“radiators”)


What is the dark flank for in the Thompson’s gazelle?

The dark flank absorbs heat better compared to the rest so they can orientate themselves to control body temperature


What percentage of water loss can camels endure?


(Humans 10-12%)


What happens to an animal when they become dehydrated?

The blood cells shrink which leads to death because you cannot extract any oxygen


How can camels replenish the water deficit?

By drinking very rapidly (200L in 3 mins)
Water is temporarily stored within the gut in order to prevent big fluctuations in plasma osmolarity


What is another way to conserve water?

Urinate less through having more concentrated urine


Where does most of the absorption of water and salts take place in the kidney?

The first part of the tubule called the proximal convoluted tubule

And loop of Henle


What do the ascending and descending limbs of the loop of Henle do?

Thin descending limb contains water channels but it is impermeable to salts

Thick ascending limb contains salt transporters but it is impermeable to water


Do desert animals have long or short loops of Henle and why?

Very long loops of Henle because the longer the loop the more concentrated the gradient and urine


What is special about the kangaroo rat?

They have a perfect water balance so there is no need for them to drink any water at all


What are the physiological tricks of conserving water in desert beetles?

Have a condensation chamber for water which evaporates from spiracles