Upper thermal limits in digesting snakes is not limited by oxygen transport capacity

In a recent short paper published in Journal of Experimental Biology we investigated metabolic rate during fasting and digestion on ball pythons when exposed to critically high temperatures. According to the OCLTT hypothesis it could be hypothesised that the additional metabolic costs associated with digestion (an almost 4 fold increase in metabolic rate) would render the snakes more vulnerable to high temperatures. However the data showed that snakes maintained a considerable aerobic scope even at temperatures approaching the leathal level and while some snakes regurgitated at these high temperatures the evidence suggested this was not associated with limited aerobic capacity.

Fobian, D., Overgaard, J. and Wang, T. (2014)

Oxygen transport is not compromised at high temperature in pythons.

The Journal of Experimental Biology 217:3958-3961

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