Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Warming up for cold water: influence of habitat type on thermoregulatory tactics in a semi-aquatic snake

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Amphibia-Reptilia

In ectotherms, thermal acclimation and behavioural thermoregulation have evolved to match organismal performance with local or temporary thermal conditions. In semi-aquatic species, however, this matching encompasses a trade-off: organisms that thermoregulate close to optimal muscle function on land will inevitably depart from that optimum when entering water, a medium that may differ drastically in temperature. With regard to predator evasion and foraging success, how do semi-aquatic ectotherms deal with such a challenge? We experimentally raised young semi-aquatic Tiger snakes in either terrestrial or semi-aquatic environments over 11 months. When tested in a standardised enclosure, young snakes raised in a semi-aquatic environment selected slightly, but significantly higher mean body temperatures than their terrestrially raised siblings (respectively 30.3°C versus 29.5°C). The former allowed their body temperature to remain higher than 32°C for twice as long as the latter group (4.4 hours vs 2.1 hours). Locomotor performances (swimming speed) were, unsurprisingly, strongly linked to body temperature. Entering water with a higher body temperature (30°C versus 19°C) delayed a sharp drop in locomotor performances, and thus lengthened maximum performance time. We hypothesise that young snakes, by allowing their body temperature to reach above their usual optimum body temperature, may delay the drop in locomotor efficiency in case of foraging opportunity or in order to escape a predator.

Affiliations: 1: Station d'Ecologie Expérimentale, CNRS à Moulis, 09200 Saint Girons, France, School of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia;, Email:; 2: Station d'Ecologie Expérimentale, CNRS à Moulis, 09200 Saint Girons, France


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Amphibia-Reptilia — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation