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Krug, C.B. 2004. Survival in the Namib: Adaptations of the striped mouse to an arid environment. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 59(2): 93-98


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Survival in the Namib: Adaptations of the striped mouse to an arid environment.

Summary / Notes:

Rhabdomys pumilio (Sparmann 1784) is a small mammal species with a wide spread distribution in Southern Africa, and occurs in a wide range of habitats. The species also occurs in the Namib Desert, but does not have the specific physiological adaptations to the arid climate that other desert rodents show. In a 2-year study of Rhabdomys, the striped mouse, it was examined how this species adapts to the extreme arid climate of the Namib Desert. Due to the general lack of plant cover in the Namib, striped mice are forced to aggregate under nara (Acanthosicyos horridus) plants. By modulating their diurnal activity pattern, animals avoid the midday hours when solar radiation is most intense. The population investigated was herbivorous, feeding mostly on nara plants which have a high water and protein content. Female reproduction is opportunistic, and tied to the availability of food high in protein.

Year: 2004

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00359190409519167#.VGICF1ItBHg


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