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Size-related differences in the thermoregulatory habits of free-ranging komodo dragons

Harlow, Henry J., Purwandana, Deni, Jessop, Tim S. and Phillips, John A. 2010, Size-related differences in the thermoregulatory habits of free-ranging komodo dragons, International journal of zoology, vol. 2010, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1155/2010/921371.

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Title Size-related differences in the thermoregulatory habits of free-ranging komodo dragons
Author(s) Harlow, Henry J.
Purwandana, Deni
Jessop, Tim S.ORCID iD for Jessop, Tim S. orcid.org/0000-0002-7712-4373
Phillips, John A.
Journal name International journal of zoology
Volume number 2010
Article ID 921371
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Place of publication Cairo, Egypt
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1687-8477
1687-8485
Summary Thermoregulatory processes were compared among three-size groups of free-ranging Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) comprising small (5-20kg), medium (20-40gm) and large (40-70kg) lizards. While all size groups maintained a similar preferred body temperature of ≈ 35 °C, they achieved this end point differently. Small dragons appeared to engage in sun shuttling behavior more vigorously than large dragons as represented by their greater frequency of daily ambient temperature and light intensity changes as well as a greater activity and overall exposure to the sun. Large dragons were more sedentary and sun shuttled less. Further, they appear to rely to a greater extent on microhabitat selection and employed mouth gaping evaporative cooling to maintain their preferred operational temperature and prevent overheating. A potential ecological consequence of size-specific thermoregulatory habits for dragons is separation of foraging areas. In part, differences in thermoregulation could contribute to inducing shifts in predatory strategies from active foraging in small dragons to more sedentary sit-and-wait ambush predators in adults.
Language eng
DOI 10.1155/2010/921371
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30087367

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.