Analysis of the seasonal dynamics of body weight and steroid hormones (cortisol, progesterone, and testosterone), the pattern of hypothermia, and basic reproductive parameters has been performed in the Mongolian hamster (Allocricetulus curtatus), a poorly studied rodent species inhabiting areas with a sharply continental climate. The results show that torpor bouts take place in wintering animals. Changes in body weight during the autumn-winter season are insignificant. The pattern of fluctuations in the levels of sex steroids and cortisol is similar to that in dwarf hamsters of the genus Phodopus. Seasonal features in the dynamics of basal cortisol level differentiate A. curtatus from the closely related Eversmann’s hamster (A. eversmanni), which may be due to differences in the social structure of these species.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 23, 2013
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