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Thermoenergetics of pre-moulting and moulting kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae): they're laughing


Buttemer, WA and Nicol, SC and Sharman, AJ, Thermoenergetics of pre-moulting and moulting kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae): they're laughing, Journal of Comparative Physiology B-Biochemical Systemic and Environmental Physiology, 173, (3) pp. 223-230. ISSN 0174-1578 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00360-003-0326-z


We examined the effect of temperature on resting metabolic rate in seven field-captured laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae) during late winter and early spring. Basal metabolic rate averaged 201 ± 3.4 ml O2 h-1 (0.603 ml O2 g-1 h-1). Overall thermal conductance (Ko) declined with ambient temperature (Ta) and averaged 0.026 ml O2 g-1 h-1°C-1 at Tas ≤ 10°C. Day-night differences in body temperatures (2.6°C) and in alpha-phase versus rho-phase minimum metabolic rates were much greater (33%) than predicted for 340-g nonpasserine birds and suggest that these animals operate as low-metabolic intensity animals in their rest phase, but normal-metabolic intensity animals during their active phase. Metabolic rate was measured in four of the same birds undergoing moult. Thermal conductance increased to 60% above pre-moult values about 6 weeks after moult began. Basal metabolic rate of moulting birds showing peak thermal conductance readings averaged 17 ml O2 h-1 higher than pre-moult measurements. Although this increase was not statistically significant, we believe the moult costs of kookaburras are too low to overcome the inherent variability of BMR determination. We suggest that moult costs of kookaburras are only somewhat higher than the measured costs of protein synthesis of other endotherms.

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:Buttemer, WA (Dr Buttemer)
UTAS Author:Nicol, SC (Associate Professor Stewart Nicol)
UTAS Author:Sharman, AJ (Mr Andrew Sharman)
ID Code:28366
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Anatomy and Physiology
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-03-23

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