A PRELIMINARY STUDY ON THE INFLUENCE OF AMBIENT TEMPERATURE AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY ON BODY TEMPERATURE RESPIRATION RATE AND HEART RATE OF HORSES IN HUMID TROPICAL CLIMATE
J. Cherian; Francis Xavier; P. C. Saseendran and T. G. Rajagopalan
The mean body temperatures of the horses in the morning and evening were found to be 37.32 + 0.029 and 37.41 + 0.028 respectively. The respiratory rate per minute in these animals for the morning and evening were 18.60 ± 0.251 and 21.49 + 0.294 respectively. The rate of heart beat per minufie in the morning and evening was 37.10 ± 0.121 and 39.85 + 0.164 respectively. The physiological norms observed during the study showed considerable variation from earlier reports. In the morning hours the relative humidity influenced the body temperature negatively whereas the ambient temperature influenced the body temperature significantly in the evening. Similarly the respiration rate per minute was influenced by relative humidity (negative) and by ambient temperature in the evening. Whereas the rate of heart beat was practically unaffected by the ambient temperature or relative humidity. From the study it is concluded that in a highly homeothermic animal like horse a fairly independent and steady action of the heart could be observed irrespective of the climatic influence. These animals use other physiological functions like the respiratory rhythm as the chief homeothermic mechanism.