Adaptations to Cold in Bird Chicks

  • Robert E. Ricklefs
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIAS, volume 173)


Adult birds maintain high body temperatures in cold environments by thick insulation (West 1972, Dawson and Carey 1976, Dawson et al. 1983), huddling and communal roosting (Knorr 1957, Mackenzie 1959), use of protected microsites (Kendeigh 1961, Mayer et al. 1982), and high capacity for thermogenesis. Several studies have shown that basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases with latitude (Weathers 1979, Ellis 1984), that temperature tolerances vary seasonally (Barnett 1970) and geographically (Blem 1973) owing to increased insulation as well as thermogenic capacity (Hart 1962, Dawson and Carey 1976, Dawson et al. 1983), particularly shivering thermogenesis of the flight muscles (Hart 1962, West 1965).


Basal Metabolic Rate Brood Size House Sparrow Young Chick Emperor Penguin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Ricklefs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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