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Species Environmental Adaptation Subject of Talk at AMK Ranch

July 9, 2010 — Changing environments for three different species is the topic for the summer seminar series Thursday, July 15, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

UW Department of Zoology and Physiology Professor Hank Harlow will discuss "Adaptations of Big Lizards and Big Bears to Changing Times" at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue will be held at 5:30 p.m. with a $5 per person fee; reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

Harlow will explain the importance of heterothermia (variable body temperature) on spatial and energy needs of foraging Komodo dragons in Indonesia, winter hibernating black bears in North America and summer walking hibernation of polar bears in the Arctic.

"These three species experience different environmental stressors that threaten their livelihood," Harlow says. He will provide data on behavioral and physiological attributes, such as skeletal muscle protein conservation and body fat use as adaptations to a changing environment, and application to wildlife conservation and human medicine.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and governmental scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Area.

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