PHYSIOLOY OF THE EXTREME: PHYSIOLOGICAL ADAPTATIONS IN MAMMALS TITLE: COPING WITH HEAT: BEHAVIOURAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF SAVANNA ELEPHANTS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT

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LECTURER'S NAME: DR MUADZ AHMAD MAZIAN

PHYSIOLOY OF THE EXTREME: PHYSIOLOGICAL ADAPTATIONS IN MAMMALS TITLE: COPING WITH HEAT: BEHAVIOURAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF SAVANNA ELEPHANTS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT

GROUP MEMBERS: 1) ABDUL HALIM ASHRAF BIN ABDUL KARIM (2018414004) 2) MOHAMAD HAMIZAN BIN NORDIN (2018276216) 3) NUR ZUHAIRAH BINTI MOHD HAFIZAN (2018659718) 4) NURSHAMIMI BINTI ANWAR (2018249328) 5) NURUL SYAFIQAH BINTI YAHYA (2018695766)

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BIO 631

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Table of contents

MAJOR DICOVERIES

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OBJECTIVE

TECHNOLOGY USED & PURPOSE

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CONCLUSION

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MOST INTERESTING FINDINGS

NEW KNOWLEDGE

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INTRODUCTION & MAJOR DISCOVERIES

What is thermoregulation and does it occur in elepahant? - Thermoregulation means processes that allows body to maintain its core internal temperature. Elephants have shown their ability to cope with intense heat in warmest circumstances. What is the major discoveries of this research? - Discovering the physiological responses of savanna elephants toward heat. Results can be obseved through the behaviours of the elephants and can be measured by skin, environmental and core temperature of elephants.

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OBJECTIVE

Determine behavioural and physiological responses of savannah elephants in their natural habitat. Relationships between apparent thermoregulatory behaviour and environmental, skin and core temperature encounter.

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TECHNOLOGY USED & PURPOSE

Monopod-mounted infrared thermal camera -FLIR T640 -FLIR System Inc Variables that supplied to the camera -Distance between the camera and the elephant. -Air temperature. -Relative humidity. -Emissivity. -Reflected temperature.

To measure an elephant’s skin temperature:

To measure elephant’s core temperature:

Tiny ingestible data logger -Was fed to the elephant. -Retention duration in gastrointestinal tract (19-145 hrs).

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CONCLUSION

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Savannah elephants have a wide range of behavioural and physiological responses to extreme heat and can maintain homeothermy if access forage, water, and shade are provided.

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Function of physiological and behavioural responses

Physiological adaptation

Evaporative cooling system Vasodilation (widening of blood vessels)

Ø Dissipate heat from the body to the environment Ø Increases cutaneous evaporative water loss Ø Reduced ambient heat load Ø Increase the rate of heat transfer (vasodilation

Behavioural adaptation

Resting (Standing/ lying down while not engaged with other behaviour) Seeking shade Feeding less Drinking more water Body wetting

New knowledge from this study

Climate influences elephant behaviour and, as a result, has implications towards their ecology.

MOST INTERESTING FINDINGS

Elephants can preserve body temperature (homeothermy) during hot weathers by:

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NEW KNOWLEDGE

Hot environment is major factor in elephant’s behavioural action

Habitat selection (shade area and near water souce) Behaviour changes (wetting behaviour, resting more, less feeding session and more walking)

Elephant behaviour benefiting their thermoregulation

Wetting of the skin reduces the elephant skin temperature and also prevent the water loss from evaporative cooling (sweating). Elephant also take more rest during hot-seasons to reduce unnecessary metabolic heat from physical activities.

Elephant able to maintain homeothermy even under positive heat load.

The core temperature is not constant but shows fluctuation over 24 rhythms cycle. In positive radiant and convective heat load, the elephant’s core temperature fluctuates not more than 1.5˚C over 24 hours.

Elephant choose to maintain homeothermy over nutrient consumption in hot environment.

Elephant rather seeking shades than eating under the hot sunlight, thus reducing their daily nutrient intake. To mitigate this, elephant increases their foraging efficiency and eat during cooler time of the day.

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REFERENCE

Gm ole, M. A., D'Araujo, S. R., Aarde, R. J., Mitchell, D., & Fuller, A. (2016). Coping with heat: behavioural and physiological responses of savanna elephants in their natural habitat. Journal of Conservation Physiology, 4, 1-11. doi:10.1093/conphys/cow044

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Thank you!

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