Re: Unpredicatable moults

To: Stephen Ambrose <>,
Subject: Re: Unpredicatable moults
From: (Danny Rogers)
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:51:08 +1000 (EST)
Stephen had to summarise a fairly complicated and messy branch of
endocrinology literature in his last message. I think he will agree that the
mechanism that kicks off moult is far from being a simple one, and that the
precise role of thyroxines seems to vary a bit from species to species -
e.g. in some thyroid activity is greatest in the weeks before moult, while
in others it is high during moult.

Nevertheless, I don't disagree with the argument that there are important
links between moulting and breeding cycles and thyroid hormones. I'm just
not convinced that the mechanism that kicks off a complete moult is a
strait-jacket which will always force birds to perform a moult after an
opportunistic breeding attempt. As Stephen says, there is just so much to

Danny Rogers

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