Yet more mink pee

9 07 2015

Gillian‘s MSc summer project has been getting more and more urinary. Her next job, involving an infra-red camera, was to judge the feasibility of catching animals urinating, so as to use what’s just come out of their body to assess core temperature.

But as the upper image shows, the urine cools rapidly (see the tiny red bit where it’s hottest?). It’s also a time consuming, tricky job with the potential to drive her insane, plus I have nagging worries that values may be affected by the emissivity of whatever’s behind the urine (since it’s transparent). So we might be best off using “glowing eyes” (see lower image) to infer core temp. (not worrying too much about absolute values, just the comparison of readings across differentially caged mink).
Pee shot

We’re also planning to look at paw pads (and perhaps ears?) to assess superficial heat loss; values here should be rather variable across mink, and we suspect facultatively so (depending on how much heat they need to shed).

Glowing eyes