The Role of Hyperthermia in the Water Economy of Desert Birds

  title={The Role of Hyperthermia in the Water Economy of Desert Birds},
  author={B. Irene Tieleman and Joseph B. Williams},
  journal={Physiological and Biochemical Zoology},
  pages={87 - 100}
A number of authors have suggested that hyperthermia, the elevation of body temperature (Tb) 2°–4°C above normal, contributes to a reduction in total evaporative water loss (TEWL) in birds. Information about the role of hyperthermia in the water economy of birds is scattered throughout the literature. We purposed to collate the available information on this subject, to reevaluate the benefits and costs of this process, and to assess its net effect on the water economy of birds, especially… 

Body Temperature Regulation in Hot Environments

To offset the costs of thermoregulation in ambient temperatures above the upper critical temperature, birds are willing to let their body temperatures increase by up to 5°C above normal temperatures, which may be an important mechanism for birds to adjust to predicted increasing ambient temperatures in the future.

Environmental determinants of total evaporative water loss in birds at multiple temperatures

ABSTRACT Endotherms dissipate heat to the environment to maintain a stable body temperature at high ambient temperatures, which requires them to maintain a balance between heat dissipation and water

Cooling by cutaneous water evaporation in the heat-acclimated rock pigeon (Columba livia).

Limited heat tolerance in a cold-adapted seabird: implications of a warming Arctic

The direct effects of increasing air temperatures on the physiology of thick-billed murres, an Arctic seabird with reported mortalities due to heat stress while nesting on sun-exposed cliffs, are assessed.

Physiological Adaptation in Desert Birds

It is shown that linkages between physiology and life-history attributes of larks along an aridity gradient; birds from deserts have not only a reduced rate of metabolism but also a small clutch size and slow nestling development, suggesting attributes of physiology are correlated with traits that directly affect reproductive success.

Avian thermoregulation in the heat: metabolism, evaporative cooling and gular flutter in two small owls

These small, cavity-nesting owls have thermoregulatory capacities that are intermediate between those of the open-ground nesting nightjars and the passerines that occupy the same ecosystem.

The Impact of Humidity on Evaporative Cooling in Small Desert Birds Exposed to High Air Temperatures

The data suggest that cutaneous evaporation is more efficient than panting, requiring less water to maintain Tb at a given temperature, but panting appears less sensitive to humidity over the air temperature range investigated here.

Adaptive thermoregulation during summer in two populations of an arid-zone passerine.

The findings reveal that populations can vary in their thermoregulatory responses in both space and time and suggest that small changes in Tair can have significant effects on thermoreGulation in free-ranging desert birds, even when Tair increases.

Facultative hyperthermia during a heatwave delays injurious dehydration of an arboreal marsupial

When it is hot outside, a possum can save water and avoid dangerous levels of dehydration by letting its body temperature rise with the heat.

Experimental evidence that hyperthermia limits offspring provisioning in a temperate-breeding bird

Results provide evidence that chick-rearing tree swallows use both anticipatory regulation and facultative hyperthermia during endurance performance, and with rising global temperatures, individuals may need to increase their frequency of facultatives to maintain nestling provisioning, and thereby maximize reproductive success.



Physiological Thermoregulation in Heat-Stressed Birds: Consequences of Body Size

  • W. Weathers
  • Environmental Science
    Physiological Zoology
  • 1981
Calculations of rates of heat exchange show that hyperthermia contributes little to the cost of avian temperature regulation in hot environments, while it significantly enhances water conservation in small birds.

Thermoregulatory Responses to Heat Stress in Four Species of Birds Weighing Approximately 40 Grams

This study examines and compares thermoregulatory responses of four diverse species of birds to controlled conditions of humidity and temperature and concludes that most birds exposed to heat stress become hyperthermic and may minimize metabolic heat production by reducing their activity.


Both captive, adult PIoor-wills were maintained for many months in captivity and were fed on a diet of meal worms (Tenebrio larvae) and canned cat food.

Heat regulation in some arctic and tropical mammals and birds.

A series of arctic and tropical mammals and birds at Point Barrow, Alaska (lat. 71° N.) and in Panama (lat. 9° N.) was subjected to various air temperatures in a respiration chamber where the heat

Energetics and thermoregulation by small passerines of the humid, lowland tropics

Birds of the open, humid lowland tropics encounter challenging thermal con- ditions-high temperatures, high humidity, and intense solar radiation. I examined how one such species, the Variable

Evaporative losses of water by birds.

  • W. Dawson
  • Environmental Science
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. A, Comparative physiology
  • 1982