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Evaporative water loss of Australian goannas

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The common intra-specific mass exponent for the standard evaporative water loss was 0.86 for nine species of goanna (V. gilleni, V. caudolineatus, V. brevicauda, V. eremius, V. acanthurus, V. tristis, V. gouldii, V. rosenbergi and V. panoptes). The inter-specific mass exponent for evaporative water loss (EWL) was 0.95; EWL (mg h-1) = 2.149M0.95 The overall resistance to water loss was significantly lower inter-specifically for larger species than smaller species; however, there was no significant intra-specific relationship between resistance and body mass. The evaporative water loss of arboreal goannas (V caudolineatus, V gilleni and V. tristis) was less than that of terrestrial goannas (V brevicauda, V eremius, V acanthurus, V. gouldii, V rosenbergi and V. panoptes); this presumably reflects the exposure of these arboreal goannas to higher wind velocity and drier air. The more mesic V. rosenbergi had a higher evaporative water loss than the more arid species.

Affiliations: 1: Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, Western Australia, 6027 , Zoology Department, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, 6907 e-mail:, Email:; 2: Zoology Department, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, 6907, Email:


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