Heat transfer and energetic cost of singing in canaries Serinus canaria.

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexually selected displays, such as male passerine bird song, are predicted to be costly. However, most measurements calculated the rate of oxygen consumption during singing using respirometry have shown that bird song has a low energetic cost. Since birds are reluctant to sing when enclosed inside a respirometry chamber, the energetic cost of singing could differ from that under more normal circumstances. We used heat transfer modelling, based on thermal images, to estimate the energetic cost of singing by canaries (Serinus canaria) that were not enclosed in respirometry chambers. Metabolic rate calculated from heat transfer modelling was 0.70 +/- 0.02 W (N=10 birds) during singing, which was 14 +/- 5% greater than during standing (0.62 +/- 0.02 W). The energetic cost of singing did not differ significantly from that measured previously using respirometry when we took into account that birds sang for a greater proportion of the time during the current experiments. These conclusions were not sensitive to potential errors in the heat transfer model. Heat transfer modelling would be especially useful to obtain measurements of the energetic cost of activities that animals do not perform readily inside respirometry chambers, such as singing in birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-964
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume191
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

Keywords

  • bird song
  • heat transfer
  • thermal imaging
  • canary
  • Serinus canaria
  • STARLINGS STURNUS-VULGARIS
  • OXYGEN-CONSUMPTION
  • METABOLIC POWER
  • WIND-TUNNEL
  • FLIGHT
  • BIRDS
  • WATER
  • MASS
  • SONG
  • THERMOREGULATION

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