Body temperature and resistance to evaporative water loss in tropical Australian frogs

Christopher Tracy, Keith Christian, G Betts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Although the skin of most amphibians measured to date offers no resistance to evaporative water loss (EWL), some species, primarily arboreal frogs, produce skin secretions that increase resistance to EWL. At high air temperatures, it may be advantageous for amphibians to increase EWL as a means to decrease body temperature. In Australian hylid frogs, most species do not decrease their resistance at high air temperature, but some species with moderate resistance (at moderate air temperatures) gradually decrease resistance with increasing air temperature, and some species with high resistance (at moderate air temperatures) abruptly decrease resistance at high air temperatures. Lower skin resistance at high air temperatures decreases the time to desiccation, but the lower body temperatures allow the species to avoid their critical thermal maximum (CT Max) body temperatures. The body temperatures of species with low to moderate resistances to EWL that do not adjust resistance at high air temperatures do not warm to their CT Max, although for some species, this is because they have high CT Max values. As has been reported previously for resistance to EWL generally, the response pattern of change of EWL at high air temperatures has apparently evolved independently among Australian hylids. The mechanisms involved in causing resistance and changes in resistance are unknown. � 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)102-108
    Number of pages7
    JournalComparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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