Roadrunners: Energy Conservation by Hypothermia and Absorption of Sunlight

  title={Roadrunners: Energy Conservation by Hypothermia and Absorption of Sunlight},
  author={Robert D. Ohmart and Robert C. Lasiewski},
  pages={67 - 69}
Roadrunners sunning in artificial sunlight consume oxygen at standard (basal) levels at ambient temperatures as low as 9.0�C. Energy savings of sunning roadrunners averaged 551 calories per hour. In the dark, birds may undergo hypothermia. Hypothermic roadrunners can elevate their body temperatures to normal levels by sunning, at reduced metabolic cost. 
Radiant heat affects thermoregulation and energy expenditure during rewarming from torpor
The study demonstrates that energetic models assuming active rewarming from torpor at low ambient temperatures can substantially over-estimate energetic costs and suggests that the prevalence of torpor in low latitudes may have been under-estimated in the past.
Regulation of Body Temperature
Birds are endotherms, a term indicating that they are able to increase their body temperature by generating a considerable amount of heat within their tissues instead of relying on heat gained directly from their surroundings.
Body Temperatures of Incubating versus Non-Incubating Roadrunners
Watching the body temperatures of free-living Roadrunners using radio-telemetry techniques while simultaneously following breeding activities reported significant differences in body temperature for Roadrunners as a function of sex and hypothermia.
Metabolism and Solar Radiation in Dark and White Herons in Hot Climates
  • H. Ellis
  • Environmental Science
    Physiological Zoology
  • 1980
Metabolism and solar radiation may combine to produce heat stress in hot climates, particularly in dark birds; reduced Ḣb allows LB and other dark birds to nest in exposed sites and suggest a heat dissipation function.
We studied the effect of solar radiation on the winter biology of Short-toed Treecreepers Certhia brachydactyla inhabiting a montane forest in Spain. We hypothesized that, in temperate latitudes of
Body temperature regulation in red-tailed hawks and great horned owls: responses to air temperature and food deprivation
Comparing the thermoregulatory responses of Red-tailed Hawks and Great Homed Owls to changes in air temperature and weight loss as a test of their metabolic adaptations to winter conditions found them to be similar to other birds of prey.
On Estimating Thermal Conductance in Endotherms
  • B. McNab
  • Physics, Environmental Science
    Physiological Zoology
  • 1980
Thermal conductance is a measure of the ease with which heat is exchanged between a body and the environment. It may include or exclude evaporative heat loss. If evaporative heat loss is included,


Bird Energetics: Effects of Artificial Radiation
With radiant energy (basking), the cow-bird effectively increased its insulation, thus shifting the lower end of the zone of thermal neutrality down by as much as 10�C (35� to 25�C).
Radiant Solar Energy and the Function of Black Homeotherm Pigmentation: An Hypothesis
White zebra finches exposed to artificial sunlight used an average of 22.9 percent less energy after they were dyed black, and this hypothesis may explain the dark skin pigmentation of certain human populations.
The Metabolic Significance of Differential Absorption of Radiant Energy by Black and White Birds
The results of experiments relating the metabolic differences between blackened andwhite birds observed by Hamilton and Heppner to the difference in amount of radiant energy absorbed by the black and white birds are reported, and a physical mechanism whereby dark-colored birds might achieve a metabolic advantage over lighter counterparts is discussed.
Water Turnover in Roadrunners under Different Environmental Conditions
To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported attempt to use the HTO (tritiated water) technique to determine body water loss in nondomesticated or desert dwelling birds under two different environmental conditions.
A Re-Examination of the Relation between Standard Metabolic Rate and Body Weight in Birds
King and Farner (1961) discuss the possibility that the avian relationship may be curvilinear in the lower ranges of body weight, since small birds have higher metabolic rates than predicted by their equation, and re-analyzed the relationship using more rigorous criteria for including data in their computations.
Physiological Responses of the Blue-Throated and Rivoli's Hummingbirds
This study presents data on some physiological responses of the two largest species of hummingbirds found in the United States, the Blue-throated Hummingbird, Lampornis clemenciae, and Rivoli's Hummingbirds, Eugenes fulgens.
Hamiltol IllI aId F. Heppier
  • Sc ientce 155,
  • 1967