Diving energetics and temperature regulation of the star-nosed mole, Condylura cristata, with comparisons to non-aquatic talpids and the water shrew, Sorex palustris
McIntyre, Ian W.
The dive performance, oxygen storage capacity, partitioning of body oxygen reserves and thermoregulatory competence of one of the world's smallest mammalian divers, the star-nosed mole, 'Condylura cristata', were investigated. Only 2.9% of voluntary dives by adult and juvenile star-nosed moles exceeded their respective calculated ADLs. This finding suggests that star-nosed moles rarely exploit anaerobic metabolism while diving, a conclusion supported by the low buffering capacity and glycogen content of the skeletal muscles of these diminutive insectivores. The thermal conductance of live star-nosed moles in 20C water exceeded values previously reported for semi-aquatic mammals, suggesting that this mole possesses limited thermoregulatory ability when immersed in cold-water. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)