Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 607–614 | Cite as

Temperature regulation in a burrow-nesting tropical seabird, the Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)

  • G. C. Whittow
  • T. N. Pettit
  • R. A. Ackerman
  • C. V. Paganelli


At low air temperatures (2.3–13.9°C), Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus) shivered and their oxygen consumption increased to as much as 283% of the mean value (0.77 ml O2/g·h) within the thermoneutral zone of air temperature (23–34°C). The minimal thermal conductance of the tissues and plumage was similar to the value predicted from the body mass (320.5 g). The oxygen consumption of the birds within their thermoneutral zone was lower than predictions based on body mass. At elevated air temperatures, the shearwaters panted at respiratory frequencies as high as 260 respirations/min; maximal respiratory frequencies were not invoked until the birds had become hyperthermic. During exposure to a hot environment, the oxygen consumption of the birds increased and in most instances the shearwaters were not able to lose heat equivalent to their concurrent metabolic heat production.


Oxygen Thermal Conductance Oxygen Consumption Human Physiology Temperature Regulation 
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.

Symbols and abbreviations


basal metabolic rate


total thermal conductance


respiratory frequency


total evaporative water loss


stomach temperature


rectal temperature


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Whittow
    • 1
  • T. N. Pettit
    • 1
  • R. A. Ackerman
    • 2
  • C. V. Paganelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Schools of Medicine and DentistryState University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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