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Re: A QUESTION CONCERNING RTs IN NAKED MOLE RATS



At 04:58 PM 1/22/97 -0500, Peter Buchholz wrote:
>That is, do Naked Mole Rats [_Heterocephalus glaber_] even have respitory
>turbinates at all?  If they are so useless to ectotherms as Ruben et al
>claim, then there should be no use for them in ectothermic NMRs.

Although I do not know the nature of the RT structures in Naked Mole Rats,
their presence in these less-than-endothermic (to be polite :-) mammals
would not render Ruben et al.s hypothesis meaningless.  Heterocephalus is
unquestionably descended from endotherms, and as such the shared presence of
RTs would be plesiomorphic.  Unless they evolved away from having RTs, these
structures would be retained.

>If they are in fact present in NMRs, I think it might make a point that RTs
>are just interesting structures in the noses of mammals and advanced birds
>that have something to do with regulating water loss but have no direct
>baring on physiology.  Does anyone know?

Ummm, regulating water loss IS part of physiology.

Twenty-some years of debate concerning dinosaurian endothermy or not, there
is a LOT (a lot of lot) of aspects to physiology other than thermoregulation.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"To trace that life in its manifold changes through past ages to the present
is a ... difficult task, but one from which modern science does not shrink.
In this wide field, every earnest effort will meet with some degree of
success; every year will add new and important facts; and every generation
will bring to light some law, in accordance with which ancient life has been
changed into life as we see it around us to-day."
        --O.C. Marsh, Vice Presidential Address, AAAS, August 30, 1877