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ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether changes in body temperature are related to the ovarian cycle in elephants. Rectal, tongue or fecal temperature was measured for 2 Asian and 5 African elephants using an electric thermometer. Evaluation of ovarian cycles was based on the changes in serum or fecal progestin. The mean +/- SD values of the rectal, tongue, and fecal temperatures were 36.3 +/- 0.3 (2 Asian), 36.2 +/- 0.5 (1 African) and 36.5 +/- 0.3 C (4 African), respectively; the fecal temperature was the highest of the 3 temperatures (P<0.01). The longitudinal changes in body temperatures correlated with the ovarian cycle, with higher temperatures occurring during the luteal phase. The fecal temperatures of one acyclic African elephant did not change cyclically. These results suggest that measurement of body temperature can be used to easily evaluate the ovarian cyclicity of an individual animal, although it might not be able to determine the ovarian cycle length.
Journal of Reproduction and Development 10/2007; 53(5):1099-105. · 1.76 Impact Factor