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Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 373–380 | Cite as

The energetics of ‘flying’ and ‘paddling’ in water: locomotion in penguins and ducks

  • R. V. Baudinette
  • Peter Gill
Article

Summary

  1. 1.

    Rates of oxygen consumption\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_2 } \) during surface and subsurface swimming were measured in the little penguinEudyptula minor. Comparisons were made with a duck of similar body mass,Anas superciliosa.

     
  2. 2.

    For both species, swimming on the water surface showed a marked curvilinear increase in\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_2 } \) with speed above 0.5 ms−1. Swimming while completely submerged reduced the oxygen demands in penguins by about 40%.

     
  3. 3.

    In ducks and penguins, increase in swimming speed was associated with modulation of both limb frequency and stride length.

     
  4. 4.

    In total efficiency of surface swimming (the ratio of mechanical power output to metabolic power input), the value for the penguin was 4.5% and for the duck, 5.7%.

     
  5. 5.

    The mass specific oxygen demand to move a given distance decreased from walking to surface swimming to submerged swimming in the penguin. The value for the duck whilst swimming on the surface was greater than that for the penguin.

     
  6. 6.

    Sub-surface swimming in penguins shows energy demands lower than for any other swimming endotherm.

     

Keywords

Water Surface Power Output Oxygen Consumption Oxygen Demand Energy Demand 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. V. Baudinette
    • 1
  • Peter Gill
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesFlinders University of South AustraliaBedford ParkAustralia

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