Comparative hypoxic tolerance in the Sciuridae

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Abstract1.Hypoxic tolerance as measured by heart and respiratory rate, change in body temperature, maintenance of righting ability and survival time was compared in three phylogenetically different sciurids, the red squirrel, the Eastern chipmunk, and the golden-mantled ground squirrel.2.Heart rates were initially elevated in all three species following exposure to 8% O2. Red squirrels maintained this tachycardia throughout a 30 min exposure whereas chipmunk and golden-mantled ground squirrel heart rates returned to near normal by the end of the 30 min exposure.3.Data on heart rate and other parameters suggest a gradation of hypoxic tolerance within the Sciuridae which is correlated with the phylogenetic location of the species within this family, a fossorial existence and the ability to hibernate. © 1975.

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Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology