Evaporative Water Loss of Small Vertebrates, as Measured with an Infrared Analyzer

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Feb 1961:
Vol. 133, Issue 3450, pp. 384-385
DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3450.384


Evaporation is linearly and inversely related to absolute humidity at 26° to 27°C. The relative rate of loss in desert reptiles, rodents, and anurans is about 1:10:40. The maximum rate of water loss is about 2.5 and 5 times the basal rate, respectively, in pocket mice and sand lizards. The ratio of loss from lung to loss from skin is about 84:16 in kangaroo rats and 70:30 in rattlesnakes.