I am a grad student writing a research proposal for a course in
physiological ecology. My proposed research involves the energetic
rewards of sociality, and I want to measure the metabolism of
hibernating marmots. The hypothesis is that in harsher environments,
larger groups will be favored because social hibernation serves to lower
energetic costs on the individuals. I was just wondering if anyone had
some ideas for how to measure metabolic rates of hibernating animals in
alpine environments buried beneath snow. The best option I have come
across is to use radio telemetry to measure heart rate and convert to
metabolic rate, but I would appreciate any suggestions others may have.
Thanks for your time.
Southern Illinois University
Department of Zoology