Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department


Reader 1

Marion Preest

Reader 2

Elise Ferree

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© 2012 Claire E. Forster


Southern toads (Anaxyrus terrestris) are ectothermic terrestrial amphibians. As such they are sensitive to thermal and hydric variability. The interactive effect of hydration state and body temperature is not well understood. The aim of this study is to determine if the costs of dehydration vary at different temperatures and if so, whether toads will select different temperatures to minimize these costs. Costs of dehydration were evaluated by measuring metabolic rate at 100% and 85% hydration state, at 30 and 20 oC. Temperature selection of toads at 100% and 85% hydration state was measured using a thermal gradient. Body temperature, but not hydration state, was determined to have a significant effect on metabolic rate. No significant difference in temperature selection was found between toads at 100% and 85% hydration state. Thus, thermoregulatory behavior as influenced by hydration state could not be predicted in Anaxyrus terrestris.

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