Xerophilous Animals

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Xerophilous Animals

 

animals adapted for life in arid locations, that is, environments with reduced moisture in the air. The loss of water in such animals through body surfaces and respiratory membranes and with metabolic products (for example, insects excrete them in solid or semiliquid form, readsorbing water in the hindgut) is greatly decreased.

Xerophilous animals can exist for long periods without drinking water by drawing on metabolic water (camels, some jerboas, fat-rumped sheep), storing moisture in the bladder (the Australian Chiroleptes platicephalus), or obtaining water from their food (lizards, snakes, turtles, Pander’s ground jay, some bustards, warblers, many rodents, insectivores, small predators). For many xerophilous animals economic use of water is facilitated by estivation (many rodents, turtles, mollusks), by seasonal diapause (locusts, darkling beetles, and the Eurygaster integi-ceps), or by crepuscular and nocturnal activity.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.