Body temperature patterns vary with day, season, and body condition of moose (Alces alces) | Academic Article individual record

Abstract Variation in core body temperature of mammals is a result of endogenous regulation of heat from metabolism and the environment, which is affected by body size and life history. We studied moose (Alces alces) in Alaska to examine the effects of endogenous and exogenous factors on core body temperature at seasonal and daily time scales. We used a modified vaginal implant transmitter to record core body temperature in adult female moose at 5-min intervals for up to 1 year. Core body temperature in moose showed a seasonal fluctuation, with a greater daily mean core body temperature during the summer (38.2°C, 95% CI = 38.1–38.3°C) than during the winter (37.7°C, 95% CI = 37.6–37.8°C). Daily change in core body temperature was greater in summer (0.92°C, 95% CI = 0.87–0.97°C) than in winter (0.58°C, 95% CI = 0.53–0.63°C). During winter, core body temperature was lower and more variable as body fat decreased among female moose. Ambient temperature and vapor pressure accounted for a large amount of the residual variation (0.06–0.09°C) in core body temperature after accounting for variation attributed to season and individual. Ambient temperature and solar radiation had the greatest effect on the residual variation (0.17–0.20°C) of daily change in core body temperature. Our study suggests that body temperature of adult female moose is influenced by body reserves within seasons and by environmental conditions within days. When studying northern cervids, the influence of season and body condition on daily patterns of body temperature should be considered when evaluating thermal stress.

author list (cited authors)
Thompson, D. P., Barboza, P. S., Crouse, J. A., McDonough, T. J., Badajos, O. H., & Herberg, A. M.
publication date
published in
J Mammal Journal
  • Moose
  • Alces Alces
  • Thermoregulation
  • Alaska
  • Body Temperature
citation count