Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 81, Issue 3, pp 289–299 | Cite as

Aerobic and anaerobic metabolism during activity in the lizardDipsosaurus dorsalis

  • Albert F. Bennett
  • William R. Dawson


  1. 1.

    Oxygen consumption and lactate content of the lizardDipsosaurusdorsalis were determined under standard conditions and for a bout of maximal activity induced by a 2-min period of electrical stimulation. Observations were made between 25 ° and 45 °C.

  2. 2.

    Maximal aerobic scope, 2.27 cm3 O2/(g × hr), occurred at 40 °C (Figs. 2, 4). The increase in oxygen consumption during activity at the various temperatures between 25 ° and 45 °C represented 7- to 17-fold of corresponding resting levels.

  3. 3.

    Lactate content of restingDipsosaurus is independent of temperature and averages 0.25 mg/g body weight. Maximal lactate production during the activity induced by a 2-min period of electrical stimulation occurred at 40 °C (Fig. 3). The capacity ofDipsosaurus for anaerobic metabolism exceeds that of other lizards investigated, both in its magnitude and in its thermal dependence.

  4. 4.

    The total amount of energy mobilized byDipsosaurus in the activity induced by a 2-min period of electrical stimulation was maximal at 40 °C (Fig. 4). Anaerobiosis accounts for a minimum of 58–83% of the total energetic expenditure.

  5. 5.

    It is postulated that the principal physiological adaptations to preferred thermal levels in reptiles have involved energy mobilization during and rapid recovery after activity.



Oxygen Body Weight Lactate Oxygen Consumption Standard Condition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert F. Bennett
    • 1
  • William R. Dawson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyThe University of MichiganAnn Arbor

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