Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 197–208 | Cite as

Oxygen consumption and body temperature in neotropical and temperate zone lungless salamanders (Amphibia: Plethodontidae)

  • Martin E. Feder


  1. 1.

    Oxygen consumption of 14 neotropical and 12 temperate zone species of lungless salamanders (Amphibia: Plethodontidae) was measured in air at 5, 15, and 25°C.

  2. 2.

    Field body temperatures of tropical species decrease with increasing elevation; low altitude forms consistently experience temperatures above those of temperate zone plethodontids and may reach 30°C body temperature.

  3. 3.

    The effect of body size on metabolic rate is equivalent for both groups of salamanders at all temperatures (b=0.8), except for temperate zone forms at 5°C (b=0.6).

  4. 4.

    Tropical salamanders consume less oxygen than temperate zone salamanders of the same size at all temperatures. Weight-corrected metabolic rate at 15°C increases with minimum elevational range in the tropical species.

  5. 5.

    Oxygen consumption shows a greater temperature-related increase (Q10) from 15 to 23°C than from 5 to 15°C. This and other considerations imply that lunglessness may not restrict plethodontids to cooler microhabitats.



Oxygen Body Size Oxygen Consumption Human Physiology Body Temperature 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin E. Feder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Museum of Vertebrate ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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