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Diving behaviour, dive cycles and aerobic dive limit in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus


Bethge, P and Munks, SA and Otley, HM and Nicol, SC, Diving behaviour, dive cycles and aerobic dive limit in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A, 136, (4) pp. 799-809. ISSN 1095-6433 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00198-3


We investigated the diving behaviour, the time allocation of the dive cycle and the behavioural aerobic dive limit (ADL) of platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) living at a sub-alpine Tasmanian lake. Individual platypuses were equipped with combined data logger-transmitter packages measuring dive depth. Mean dive duration was 31.3 s with 72% of all dives lasting between 18 and 40 s. Mean surface duration was 10.1 s. Mean dive depth was 1.28 m with a maximum of 8.77 m. Platypuses performed up to 1600 dives per foraging trip with a mean of 75 dives per hour. ADL was estimated by consideration of post-dive surface intervals vs. dive durations. Only 15% of all dives were found to exceed the estimated ADL of 40 s, indicating mainly aerobic diving in the species. Foraging platypuses followed a model of optimised recovery time, the optimal breathing theory. Total bottom duration or total foraging duration per day is proposed as a useful indicator of foraging efficiency and hence habitat quality in the species. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal physiology - systems
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Bethge, P (Mr Phillip Bethge)
UTAS Author:Munks, SA (Dr Sarah Munks)
UTAS Author:Otley, HM (Ms Helen Otley)
UTAS Author:Nicol, SC (Associate Professor Stewart Nicol)
ID Code:28362
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Anatomy and Physiology
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-03-23

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