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Circadian Activity Patterns and Time Budgets of the Complex-Toothed Flying Squirrel (Trogopterus xanthipes) in Different Seasons

Circadian Activity Patterns and Time Budgets of the Complex-Toothed Flying Squirrel (Trogopterus xanthipes) in Different Seasons

Zhi Wang1*, Wenhua Liu2 and FadaoTai3

1College of Life Sciences and Food Engineering, Shaanxi Xueqian Normal University, Xi’an 710100, China
2Shaanxi Institute of Zoology, Xi’an 710032, China. 
3College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China.

*      Corresponding author: w.z014@163.com

ABSTRACT

The complex-toothed flying squirrel has completely different diet and living habits compared with other squirrel species. Still, its circadian activity patterns and time budgets in different behaviors remain unclear. Using artificial population of the animal bred in a simulated natural environment, activity patterns and time budgets were investigated. The results showed that the species was clearly nocturnal but varied greatly in the number of daily activity bouts showing bimodal patterns in winter, trimodal patterns in spring and summer, even tetramodal patterns in autumn. It is possible that they are the most active in autumn and they reduce activity times per bout in winter to reduce energy loss arising from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, as a survival strategy. Squirrels were observed for a total of 1680 h, they devoted 65.71% ± 1.64 of time to resting. Feeding accounted for 16.82% ± 0.64 of observation time. Other behaviors included self-grooming, watching, locomotion and so on. The percentages of nighttime spent in each of all behaviors varied greatly in some time period among different seasons, especially near early evening and midnight. This may be ascribed to variation in photoperiod.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 53, Iss. 4, Pages 1201-1601

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