Oxygen consumption, rectal temperature, and plasma concentrations of glucocorticoids, free fatty acids, and glucose were studied in 5 species of rodents after cold exposure that exceeded their homeostatic capability (7?C for 15 min). Adrenocortical responses and met- abolic responses (oxygen consumption) to cold were large in 3 solitary, terrestrial species, dwarf hamsters (Phodopus sungorus, P. campbelli, and P. roborovskii) and were minimal in a colonial fossorial species, mole voles (Ellobius talpinus). Bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) showed intermediate responses. There were no interspecific differences in mo- bilization of main bioenergetic substrates (glucose and free fatty acids). Results are inter- preted in terms of evolutionary changes of stress: reactivity was positively correlated with the rate of social stimuli and negatively correlated with physically stressful stimuli in the natural environment of the species.
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