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Ambient temperature affects postnatal litter size reduction in golden hamsters

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Zoology, November 2016
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Title
Ambient temperature affects postnatal litter size reduction in golden hamsters
Published in
Frontiers in Zoology, November 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12983-016-0183-8
Pubmed ID
Authors

Sarah A. Ohrnberger, Raquel Monclús, Heiko G. Rödel, Teresa G. Valencak

Abstract

To better understand how different ambient temperatures during lactation affect survival of young, we studied patterns of losses of pups in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) at different ambient temperatures in the laboratory, mimicking temperature conditions in natural habitats. Golden hamsters produce large litters of more than 10 young but are also known to wean fewer pups at the end of lactation than they give birth to. We wanted to know whether temperature affects litter size reductions and whether the underlying causes of pup loss were related to maternal food (gross energy) intake and reproductive performance, such as litter growth. For that, we exposed lactating females to three different ambient temperatures and investigated associations with losses of offspring between birth and weaning. Overall, around one third of pups per litter disappeared, obviously consumed by the mother. Such litter size reductions were greatest at 30 °C, in particular during the intermediate postnatal period around peak lactation. Furthermore, litter size reductions were generally higher in larger litters. Maternal gross energy intake was highest at 5 °C suggesting that mothers were not limited by milk production and might have been able to raise a higher number of pups until weaning. This was further supported by the fact that the daily increases in litter mass as well as in the individual pup body masses, a proxy of mother's lactational performance, were lower at higher ambient temperatures. We suggest that ambient temperatures around the thermoneutral zone and beyond are preventing golden hamster females from producing milk at sufficient rates. Around two thirds of the pups per litter disappeared at high temperature conditions, and their early growth rates were significantly lower than at lower ambient temperatures. It is possible that these losses are due to an intrinsic physiological limitation (imposed by heat dissipation) compromising maternal energy intake and milk production.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 18 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 18 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 3 17%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 17%
Professor 2 11%
Researcher 2 11%
Professor > Associate Professor 2 11%
Other 3 17%
Unknown 3 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 10 56%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 2 11%
Environmental Science 1 6%
Medicine and Dentistry 1 6%
Unknown 4 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 November 2016.
All research outputs
#4,686,029
of 8,686,406 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Zoology
#295
of 388 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#162,356
of 298,245 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Zoology
#5
of 7 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,686,406 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 27th percentile – i.e., 27% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 388 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 18.2. This one is in the 17th percentile – i.e., 17% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 298,245 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 35th percentile – i.e., 35% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 7 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 2 of them.