Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


As global temperatures continue to increase, so does the need to better assess the sensitivity of different species to climate change. Such assessments require accurate behavioral and physiological data, including on thermoregulation and the effects of high temperatures on the behavior of endotherms. Seeking to improve current knowledge and methodology, my research evaluated the connections between activity and thermoregulation, using deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) as a species model. By using a custom made maze, I was able to simulate an active foraging environment and examine both activity patterns and subcutaneous temperatures in mice during the active-phase of their activity cycle. Due to several circumstances, not all parts of the study were completed. Available data was analyzed for possible relationships between observed Tsub frequencies and activity or consumed food. No significant relation between subcutaneous temperature waves and either activity or consumed food was found; as well as no relation between the sum of subcutaneous temperatures and consumed food. Nevertheless, my study emphasizes some of the benefits in using a behavioral maze. Protocols developed during this study could potentially assist in either the reconstruction of the full original study, or in future studies concerning variability in ecological and physiological data.