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Type: Journal article
Title: Interseasonal variation in the circadian rhythms of locomotor activity and temperature selection in sleepy lizards, Tiliqua rugosa
Author: Ellis, D.
Firth, B.
Belan, I.
Citation: Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, 2008; 194(8):701-712
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0340-7594
Statement of
David J. Ellis, Bruce T. Firth and Ingrid Belan
Abstract: Few studies in non-mammalian vertebrates have examined how various effectors of the circadian system interact. To determine if the daily locomotor and behavioural thermoregulatory rhythms of Tiliqua rugosa are both controlled by the circadian system in different seasons, lizards were tested in laboratory thermal gradients in four seasons and in constant darkness. Circadian rhythmicity for both rhythms was present in each season, being most pronounced in spring and summer and least evident in autumn. Most lizards displayed a unimodal locomotor activity pattern across all seasons. However, some individuals presented a bimodal locomotor activity pattern in spring and summer. Seasonal variations in the phase relationships of both rhythms to the light:dark (LD) cycle were demonstrated. No seasonal differences in the free-running period lengths of either rhythm were detected, raising the possibility that a single circadian pacemaker drives both rhythms in this species. Our present results demonstrate that both rhythms are similarly controlled by the circadian system in each season. Although seasonal variations in the thermal preferences of reptiles both in the field and laboratory have previously been well documented, this study is the first to demonstrate circadian rhythms of temperature selection in a reptile species in each season.
Keywords: Reptiles; Behavioural thermoregulation; Locomotor activity; Circadian rhythms; Seasonality
Description: The original publication can be found at
RMID: 0020082333
DOI: 10.1007/s00359-008-0341-3
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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