Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 243–256 | Cite as

Annual cycle of patterns of activity rhythms in beaver colonies (Castor canadensis)

  • Claude L. Potvin
  • Jacques Bovet


Beavers studied under natural conditions near Québec City, Canada, displayed a yearly cycle of patterns of activity rhythms. In winter, the beaver colonies had a free-running circadian rhythm of period length 26.25 to 28.0 h, with or without relative coordination, depending on available light intensity, which in turn depends on ice and snow cover conditions; in summer, their activity rhythm followed a “normal” 24 h period. Transitions between these two patterns suggest that annual variations in the beaver's physiological state affect their reaction towards the presence or absence of a Zeitgeber.


Light Intensity Natural Condition Physiological State Circadian Rhythm Snow Cover 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude L. Potvin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacques Bovet
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de BiologieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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