Re: More on diving penguins

Subject: Re: More on diving penguins
From: Stephen Ambrose <>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 19:02:04 +1000
At 11:58 AM 3/31/98 +1000, Peter Woodall wrote:
>To quote the authors: 
>"These temperature decreases, which would lead to a metabolic depression,
>might help explain the extraordinary diving performance of king penguins.
>This energy saving would also be analagous to that which results from
>torpid periods in hibernators,...

Interesting! This suggests that this type of metabolic depression may also
combine with respiration in limiting the duration of a dive. If the body's
overall metabolism remains depressed at these levels for too long, then
perhaps there's a danger of the penguin going into "real" or prolonged
torpor during a dive. I suspect it would be a disadvantage for a penguin to
go into torpor while diving, especially if it is looking for prey. It may
even be dangerous, as a torpid penguin, itself, may become easy prey.

Dr Stephen Ambrose
Research Manager
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union)
Australian Bird Research Centre
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East,
VIC   3123.
Tel:    +61 3 9882 2622
Fax:    +61 3 9882 2677
Email:  S.Ambrose <>  (at work)
             <>   (at home)

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