Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gazelles shrink liver and heart to reduce oxygen consumption during drought

12.06.2006
How do gazelles and other large desert mammals adjust their physiology to survive when food and water are in short supply? A fascinating new study from the July/August issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology reveals that gazelles in the deserts of Saudi Arabia have evolved the ability to shrink oxygen-demanding organs such as the liver and heart, allowing them to breathe less. Fewer breaths reduce the amount of water lost to respiratory evaporation during prolonged periods of drought.

"We found that gazelles had the lowest total evaporative water loss ever measured in an arid zone ungulate [hoofed animal]," write Stéphane Otrowski (National Wildlife Research Center, Saudi Arabia), Pascal Mésochina (National Wildlife Research Center, Saudi Arabia), and Joseph B. Williams (Ohio State University).

Sand gazelles' livers and hearts--which are important determinants of metabolic rate--decrease significantly in mass during four months of food and water restriction. Conversely, the gut walls, which are responsible in ruminants for 28–46% of whole-body protein synthesis, an energy demanding process, did not decrease significantly in mass. There are few sources of drinking water in the desert, so sand gazelles must rely on vegetation for both food and water requirements.

"The deserts of the Arabian Peninsula are among the most austere of terrestrial environments, with low, unpredictable rainfall, and high ambient temperature," explain the authors. "The sand gazelle has evolved a remarkable capacity to reduce its evaporative water losses, which is likely a component of their success."

Unexpectedly, the researchers also found that deprived sand gazelles had a higher fat content in the brain, revealing that gazelles may store fats in the brain to secure brain metabolism during prolonged food and water deprivation.

Since 1928, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology has presented original, current research in environmental, adaptational, and comparative physiology and biochemistry.

Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchicago.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
11.12.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea
10.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>