Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Fever in the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Abstract

FEVER is considered to be a universal response of warm-blooded animals to endotoxins1. Although during a fever a mammal uses behavioural as well as physiological means to increase its body temperature2, it is not known whether fever develops in an animal such as a lizard which regulates its body temperature largely by behaviour. For example, the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) regulates its body temperature close to 38.5° C if placed in a chamber with a temperature gradient3. If this lizard is placed in a temperature chamber in which one end is heated to above the animal's lethal body temperature (50° C) and the other end is maintained at room temperature, the lizard regulates its temperature by moving back and forth between the two sides4. Under these conditions, one can determine its high and low set-points (Fig. 1). The central nervous control of temperature in an ectotherm, such as a lizard, and an endotherm, such as the rabbit, appears to be quite similar. For example, both possess a hypothalamus which is thermally sensitive5,6, and lesions in the posterior hypothalamus in both lizards4 and mammals7 lead to an inability to maintain a high body temperature.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Atkins, E., and Bodel, P., New Engl J. Med., 286, 27–34 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Cabanac, M., in Essays on temperature regulation (edit. by Bligh, J., and Moore, R.), 19–36 (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1972).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    DeWitt, C. B., Physiol. Zool., 40, 49–66 (1967).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Kluger, M., Tarr, R. S., and Heath, J. E., Physiol. Zool., 46, 79–84 (1973).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Cabanac, M., Hammel, T., and Hardy, J. D., Science, 158, 1050–1051 (1967).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Hammel, H. T., Caldwell, F. T., jun., and Abrams, R. M., Science, 156, 1260 (1967).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Ranson, S. W., and Magoun, H. W., Ergeb. Physiol. Biol. Chem. exp. Pharmakol., 41, 56–163 (1939).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Reichenbach-Klinke, H., and Elkan, E., in The principal diseases of lower vertebrates, 396 (Academic Press, London, 1965).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

VAUGHN, L., BERNHEIM, H. & KLUGER, M. Fever in the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis. Nature 252, 473–474 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1038/252473a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing