Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 223–229 | Cite as

Daily rhythms of metabolic rates: Role of chemical signals in coexistence of spiny mice of the genusAcomys

  • Abraham Haim
  • Sasson Fluxman


The common spiny mouseAcomys cahirinus and the golden spiny mouseA. russatus coexist in the extreme arid and hot parts of the Arava Rift Valley in Israel. The coexistence of these two species is through exclusion ofA. russatus from nocturnal activity byA. cahirinus, which is nocturnal. An attempt was made to study the daily activity rhythm response ofA. russatus to chemical signals released byA. cahirinus, in order to understand the mechanism of segregation. For this purpose oxygen consumption,\(\dot V\)O2, was studied in individuals ofA. russatus kept alone in a metabolic chamber in a constant ambient temperature of 32°C under two photoperiod regimes: 12L:12D, and constant darkness (D:D). After three days of\(\dot V\)O2 recording under these conditions, chemical signals released fromA. cahirinus were passed through the metabolic chamber. This treatment caused a shift in the activity rhythm only ofA. russatus kept at 12:12D, while a decrease in\(\dot V\)O2 rates ofA. russatus was noted in both groups. These results suggest that chemical signals released byA. cahirinus may play a role in shiftingA. russatus toward its diurnal activity.

Key Words

Arid rodents circadian rhythm chemical signals coexistence metabolic rates phase shift oxygen consumption 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abraham Haim
    • 1
  • Sasson Fluxman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Haifa at OranimTivonIsrael

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