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Evolution de la masse corporelle et de la masse relative de quelques organes au cours du cycle annuel chez les mâles matures de Vipera aspis

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The relative mass of fat bodies of 103 adult male Vipera aspis from western France appeared to be correlated with fasting and feeding periods. There was a slow decline in mass during wintering and a rapid decline during the occurrence of spring mating; a minimum fat body mass was at the first molting time in May. This was the only time when there was a significant decline in the relative mass of the liver; vipers are noticeably emaciated during this period. Changes in relative kidney mass were correlated with the volume of the sexual segment of the kidneys, the minimum being in July. The relative mass of the testes was also linked with the sexual cycle; the minimum appeared to be in July and there was little variation between September and May.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire d'Evolution des Etres organisés, Université de Paris VI, 105 boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris, France; 2: Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, 28 rue Albert-Ier, 1 7000 la Rochelle, France


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