The telltale heart: a non-invasive method to determine the energy expenditure of incubating Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo carbo.

Storch, Sandra, Gremillet, D. and Culik, Boris M. (1999) The telltale heart: a non-invasive method to determine the energy expenditure of incubating Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo carbo. Open Access Ardea, 87 (2). pp. 207-215.

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Abstract

We studied the energetics of incubating Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo carbo via heart rate and respirometric measurements performed in captive and free-living animals. We applied a modified heart beat frequency (HR) monitor built for use in human athletics as well as respirometry for measurements in four captive-bred cormorants at Neumuenster Zoo, Germany. The obtained data were used to model the relationship between HR and metabolic rate (MR). The resulting correlations were MR (W kg-0.723) = 4.76 + 0.01HR (bpm) during daytime and MR (W kg-0.723) = 2.33 + 0.03HR (bpm) at night. Furthermore, the heart beat frequencies of 5 free-living, incubating cormorants at the Chausey Islands, France, were measured acoustically using artificial eggs while the activities at the nest were observed via video. HR-MR models established in the captive animals were used to determine the activity-dependent energy expenditure in these free-living cormorants. The Median MR was 5.08 W kg-0.723 at night, 6.06 W kg-0.723 while resting and sleeping during daytime, 6.20 W kg-0.723 during preening, gular flutter and unrest and 6.47 W kg-0.723 during nest building. In resting birds we found a nocturnal reduction in the energy expenditure of 16 %. Our method for measurement of heart beat frequency appears promising as a technique for determination of HR with minimal restraint to the animal

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Phalacrocorax carbo; energetics; metabolic rate; breeding HR-measurements; respirometry
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology
OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 0373-2266
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2019 12:58
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/8207

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