Intra-individual variation in body temperature and pectoral muscle size in nestling Alpine swifts Apus melba in response to an episode of inclement weather

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_3E24B6583835
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
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Publications
Institution
Title
Intra-individual variation in body temperature and pectoral muscle size in nestling Alpine swifts Apus melba in response to an episode of inclement weather
Journal
Journal of Ornithology
Author(s)
Bize P., Klopfenstein A, Jeanneret C., Roulin A.
ISSN
0021-8375
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2007
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
148
Number
4
Pages
387-393
Language
english
Abstract
The Alpine swift (Apus melba) forages on insects caught exclusively on the wing, implying that dependent nestlings face acute food shortage in periods of cold and rainy weather. Therefore, there should be strong selection on nestling swifts to evolve physiological strategies to cope with periods of undernutrition. We have investigated intra-individual changes in nestling pectoral muscle and body temperature in response to a 1-week period of inclement weather. The pectoral muscle is the largest reserves of proteins, and nestlings have to devote a large amount of energy in the maintenance of body temperature. The results show that nestling pectoral muscle size and body temperature were significantly reduced during the episode of inclement weather. Assuming that these physiological changes are adaptive, our study suggests that nestling swifts spare energy by a pronounced reduction (up to 18 degrees C) in body temperature and use proteins from the pectoral muscle as a source of extra energy to survive prolonged periods of fasting.
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Create date
24/01/2008 18:42
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:34
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