Jackrabbit ears: surface temperatures and vascular responses

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Science  22 Oct 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4263, pp. 436-438
DOI: 10.1126/science.982027


Blood flow to the ear pinnae is curtailed at ambient temperatures of between 1.4 degrees and 24 degrees C, which minimizes heat loss across the pinnae and allows the surfaces of erect pinnae to approach ambient temperature. The pinnae are warmed by steady or pulsatile vasodilation in some animals when the ambient temperature is between 1 degree and 9 degrees C below body temperature, a response favoring heat loss. When ambient temperature exceeds body temperature by 4 degrees to 5 degrees C, the pinnae are circulated with blood cooler than ambient temperature; this response favors heat influx.