Ontogenetic differences in the preferred body temperature of the European adder Vipera berus

Gabor Herczeg, Abigel Gonda, Jarmo Perälä, Jarmo Saarikivi, Aino Tuomola, Juha Merilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


"We tested the hypothesis that the costs of thermoregulation (e.g. predation) can affect the preferred body temperature (T-P, the ""target"" body temperature in thermoregulation) of reptiles. In European adders (Vipera berus), juveniles face higher predation risks than adults. We compared T-P between adult and juvenile adders and found that the T-P of juveniles was approximately 5 degrees C lower than that of adults, while adult males and females did not differ. All groups were characterized by narrow T-P ranges. Our results suggest that reptiles may change their T-P in response to the high ecological costs of thermoregulation. Alternative explanations for the reported pattern are also discussed."
Original languageEnglish
JournalHerpetological Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)58-61
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 118 Biological sciences

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