Superb winter fur insulation in the small Siberian musk deer (Moschus moschiferus)
Keywords:Musk deer, kabarga, insulation, fur, temperature regulation
AbstractWe compared the morphology and thermal characteristics of winter pelage from two Siberian musk deer Moschus moschiferus (aged 5 and 41 mo.; 5.7 and 9.5 kg) and two Eurasian reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus (aged >48 mo.; 73 and 79 kg). The depth of the fur over the back of musk deer was less (approximately 30 mm) than in reindeer (approximately 40 mm). Guard hairs of musk deer were longer (mean = 50.0 mm) and had greater diameter at half-length (mean = 314.4 μm) than those of reindeer (mean = 38.6mm and = 243.9 μm, respectively). The thermal characteristics (thermal conductivity and resistance) of the winter pelage of the two species were nevertheless similar (0.057 W·m-1·K-1 and 0.79 K·m2·W-1; and 0.037 W·m-1 ·K-1 and 1.00 K·m2·W-1, respectively) despite a tenfold difference in their body mass.
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