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Volume :2 Issue : 1 1975      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

AUTECOLOGY OF THE JERBOA, JACULUS JACULU, S INHABITING

Auther : AL-JALIA DESERT AREA, KUWAIT, S.M. EISSA, S .M. EL-ZIYADI A ND M.M. IBRAHIM

Department of Zoology, University of Kuwait

 

Abstract.

 

Ecological studies were carried out in Al-Jalia desert area. 45 km to the south of Kuwait City. The studies continued throughout a whole year and showed that this area is subjected to daily as well as seasonal periods of severe climatic conditions. Both plants and animals of such an ecosystem are well adapted to the prevailing climatic conditions as well as to the scarcity of water and insufficiency of food. Field observations of different animals inhabiting the study area show that many of them never meet due to the fact that they become active at different times. The most common rodent found in the area is the desert jerboa, Jaculus jaculus It inhabits underground burrows with a comfortable micro-climate which is greatly affected by the animal itself. The temperature of the burrow is almost constant and near to the comfortable zone of the jerboa: the burrow is provided with highly humid air. The number of jerboa burrows per unit area was not stable but changed from season to season. It reached its maximum (luring spring and early summer. In the late summer, the number began to decrease until it reached the minimum during early winter. Field observations show that such a desert rodent possessed daily, as well as seasonal. rhythmic patterns of activity. Its nocturnal type of activity was found to be affected by temperature and relative humidity of the atmospheric air. Its body temperature wan found to be correlated with its periods of activity. The measured resting metabolism of the jerboa was found to be somewhat lower than that estimated from the body weight-metabolism equation, and also much lower than that measured for the white rat. The metabolism of the sleeping jerboa was also found to be much lower than that of the resting animal. The metabolism of the active jerboa was found to be about five times that of the resting animal.

 

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