The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 03. Body temperatures of captive tortoises at high altitude in Zimbabwe, with comments on the use of living models


Open Access


Authors: Adrian Hailey And John P. Loveridge

Abstract: It is difficult to devise physical models which precisely mimic the body temperatures (Tb 's) of large reptiles in the field. Studies of large reptiles have the compensating advantage that individuals can be fol lowed for long periods, so that translocated individuals can be used as ' living models'. We compare Tb's of two tortoise species in an enclosure in Harare (altitude 1500 m) with those in the field at Sengwa (900m), where mean air temperatures were about 5°C higher. Kinixys spekii, which occurs naturally near Harare, had similar Tb 's at the two sites (means 27.6 and 27.0°C, respectively). Geochelone pardalis had significantly lower Tb 's in Harare (29. 1 °C) than at Sengwa (32.6°C), even though activity was shifted towards midday in Harare. The inability to reach high Tb during activity may explain the absence of G. pardalis near Harare, and the distribution of this species in southern Africa.

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.