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TEMPERATURE REGULATION IN THE NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO
ARCTIC AEROMEDICAL LAB FORT WAINWRIGHT ALASKA
The normal body temperature level in the ninebanded armadillo varies between 34.0 to 36.4 C, showing diurnal fluctuations up to 2.4 C. The responses to cold exposure included a rise in deep rectal temperature resulting from reduced heat loss by vasoconstriction with a later increased heat production by progressive shivering. At elevated air temperature, heat loss was increased by vasodilation and panting. The overcompensation observed in the armadillo to a cold stress indicates well-developed mechanisms for reducing heat loss and increasing heat production. The development of central nervous thermostatic control of these mechanisms seems to be the limiting factor to higher efficiency of homeotherapy in the armadillo. Author