Elevated performance: the unique physiology of birds that fly at high altitudes

  title={Elevated performance: the unique physiology of birds that fly at high altitudes},
  author={Graham R. Scott},
  journal={Journal of Experimental Biology},
  pages={2455 - 2462}
  • G. Scott
  • Published 1 August 2011
  • Biology
  • Journal of Experimental Biology
Summary Birds that fly at high altitudes must support vigorous exercise in oxygen-thin environments. Here I discuss the characteristics that help high fliers sustain the high rates of metabolism needed for flight at elevation. Many traits in the O2 transport pathway distinguish birds in general from other vertebrates. These include enhanced gas-exchange efficiency in the lungs, maintenance of O2 delivery and oxygenation in the brain during hypoxia, augmented O2 diffusion capacity in peripheral… 

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