SCHLEICH Cristian Eric
Thermoregulatory development and behavior of Ctenomys talarum
BALDO, MB; LUNNA, F; SCHLEICH, C.E.; ANTENUCCI, C.D.
COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR AND INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY
ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2014
ABSTRACT In altricial mammals, the presence and role of the mother and siblings through the early stages of pup´s ontogeny are critical to determine the normal development of the neonates. It has been reported that variations in the extent of parental investment during pups´ development affect not only thermoregulatory capacity but also growth patterns, brain development and consequently behavior during lifetime, such as spatial learning and memory in adults. Ctenomys talarum (tuco-tucos) is a solitary subterranean rodent, who inhabits complex burrows and exhibits developed spatial orientation abilities. Tuco-tuco pups display an altricial development during their early development, spending more than 80% of the time in contact with the mother. Throughout weaning period, pups show active exploratory behavior and display improvements in their spatial capabilities until dispersion. Then, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of repeated brief postnatal isolations on the acquisition of physiological thermoregulation and on the development of spatial learning capabilities in tuco-tuco? pups. As occur in wild animals, daily brief isolations (30min) did not affect the acquisition of adult´s body temperature nor resting metabolic rate´s development pattern. Moreover, behavioral response and adult spatial abilities of isolated pups was similar to the ones observed in individuals with permanent access to their mother and the rest of the litter during the nursing period. This indicates that, when offspring of C. talarum face periods in which mother is absent, minor physiological and behavioral adjustments, such as shivering and postural changes, comprise part of pup-mother behavioral repertoire employed to keep individuals within the limits of allostasis.