breath holding in birds

Subject: breath holding in birds
From: Eric Woehler <>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 08:30:07 +1100
The current 'record' for breath holding is by 2 male Emperor Penguins.
Using Time Depth Recorders, the males were recorded making dives of 21
minutes. Can't remember what the depth reached by the birds was, but Emps
have been recorded at 400m.

>> >or which bird can hold its breath the longest....
>> Can anyone tell us which bird does hold its breath the longest and how the
>> physiology works?
>> I have a feeling the right answer is either the King Penguin or Emperor
>Penguin, which I recall deep-dive to remarkable depths and must
>therefore require a long period where they do not breathe. What is
>even more remarkable is their ability to feed on krill etc at these
>depths under what one would presume to be substantial oxygen-debt. As
>for the physiology, we may need to consult a bird physiologist on that
>one. Are there any other thoughts?
>Andrew Taylor


Dr Eric J Woehler
Australian Antarctic Division
Channel Highway, Kingston
Tasmania 7050 AUSTRALIA

ph    03 6232 3376 (work)
    +613 6232 3376

fax   03 6232 3351 (work)
    +613 6232 3351



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