Animals at the extremes: The desert environment
Animals at the extremes: The desert environment

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Animals at the extremes: The desert environment


Bozinovic, F., Gallardo, P. A., Visser, G. H., Ortes, A. (2003) Seasonal acclimatization in water flux rate, urine osmolality and kidney water channels in free-living degus: molecular mechanisms, physiological processes and ecological implications. Journal of Experimental Biology, 206, 2959–2966.
Bulova, S. (2002) How temperature, humidity, and burrow selection affect evaporative water loss in desert tortoises. Journal of Thermal Biology, 27, 175–189.
Meigs, P. (1953) World distribution of arid and semi-arid homoclimates. Reviews of Research on Arid Zone Hydrology. Paris: UNESCO.
Mueller, P. and Diamond, J. (2001) Metabolic rate and environmental productivity: well provisioned animals evolved to run and idle fast. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98, 12 550–12 554.
Schmidt-Nielsen, K., Crawford, E. C., Newsome, A. E., Rawson, K. S. and Hammel, H. T. (1967) American Journal of Physiology, 212, 341–346.
Tieleman, B. I. and Williams, J. B. (2000) The adjustment of avian metabolic rates and water fluxes to desert environments. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 73, 461–479.
Tieleman, B. I., Williams, J. B. and Bloomer, P. (2003) Adaptation of metabolism and evaporative water loss along an aridity gradient. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B, 270, 207–214.
UNEP (1992) World Atlas of Desertification. Sevenoaks: Edward Arnold.
Williams, J. B. (2001) Energy expenditure and water flux of free-living dune larks in the Namib: a test of the re-allocation hypothesis on a desert bird.Functional Ecology, 15, 175–185.
Williams, J. B. and Tieleman, B. I. (2000) Flexibility in basal metabolic rate and evaporative water loss among hoopoe larks exposed to different environmental temperatures. Journal of Experimental Biology, 203, 3153–3159.
Williams, J. B., Ostrowski, S., Bedlin, E. and Ismail, K. (2001) Seasonal variation in energy expenditure, water flux and food consumption of Arabian oryx, Oryx leucoryx. Journal of Experimental Biology, 204, 2301–2320.
Williams, J. B., Lenain, D., Ostrowski, S., Tieleman, B. I. and Seddon, P. J. (2002) Energy expenditure and water flux of Rüppell’s foxes in Saudi Arabia.Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 75, 479–488.
Willmer, P., Stone, G. and Johnston, I. (2000) Environmental Physiology of Animals. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd.
Zatsepina, O. G., Ulmasov, K. A., Beresten, S. F., Molodtsov, V. B., Rybtsov, S. A. and Evgen’ev, M. B. (2000) Thermotolerant desert lizards characteristically differ in terms of heat-shock system regulation. Journal of Experimental Biology, 203, 1017–1025.
Further reading
Crane, C. M. and Kishore, B. K. (2003) Aquaporins: the membrane water channels of the biological world. Biologist, 50, 81–86.
Huang, Y., Tracey, R., Walsberg, G. E., Makkinje, A., Fang, P., Brown, D. and van Hoek, A. N. (2001) Absence of aquaporin-4 water channels from kidneys of the desert rodent Dipodomys merriami merriami. American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology, 280, 794–802.
Louw, G. (1993) Physiological Animal Ecology. Harlow: Longman Ltd.
van Hoek, A. N., Tonghui, M., Baoxue Y., Verkman, A. S. and Brown, D. (2000) Aquaporin-4 is expressed in basolateral membranes of proximal tubule S3 segments in mouse kidney. American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology,278, 310–316.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus