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Ecophysiology of Small Desert Mammals (Adaptations of Desert Organisms)

ISBN: 9783540592594
Publisher: Springer
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 1996-12-19
Number of pages: 296
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Since small mammals have a large surface to mass ratio, one would expect them to quickly dehydrate and perish at high environmental temperatures. Nonetheless, a large number of small mammal species inhabit deserts. This fascinating phenomenon is investigated by Prof. A. Allan Degen in his book.
The majority of small desert mammals are rodents, but shrews of several grams and small foxes of 1 kg are also present. Their survival is due mainly to behavioural adaptations and habitat selection, however, physiological adaptations also contribute to the success. Interestingly, many small mammals that live in different deserts of the world show similarities in their adaptive traits although they have different taxonomic affinities.

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