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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 14th May 2010, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Country: Belgium
Location: Antwerp Belgium, formerly Cologne, Germany, formerly San Antonio, Texas (birthplace)
Posts: 1,791
Some interesting information:

temperature regulation and behavior in birds:,

and metabolism in birds:

(104 degrees Fahrenheit = 40 degrees Celsius)

Birds have only slightly higher body temperatures than mammals; avian temperatures range from around the human level of 98.6 degrees F (penguins, Whip-poor-wills) to 104 degrees (most resting birds). But in general, the temperature ranges of the two groups, like their overall metabolisms, are remarkably similar, considering their different modes of life. Both have evolved to function at temperatures just below those at which the crucial protein enzymes begin to lose their stability, change their shape, and cease to function (denature). Maintaining constant body temperature is thus not just a problem for birds trying to keep from chilling in cold weather; it is an even more critical problem when the air temperature rises above that of the body. Then birds must avoid overheating and sudden death.

High temperatures, besides increasing the rate of chemical reactions, permit important physical functions that depend on diffusion to go on more rapidly. Heat speeds the diffusion of transmitter chemicals in nerve connections; the hotter a bird can be, the more rapidly vital information can be processed and commands sent to the bird's muscles. This allows birds to react more quickly. So high operating temperatures have clear advantages for both avian predators and prey; and unlike hands and other ectotherms, birds are not dependent on the sun's warmth to attain those temperatures. It has also been suggested that maintaining a constant high brain temperature aids memory and facilitates learning.

Heat production:

The primary means for increasing heat production for birds is shivering.
The large flight muscles (pectoralis) as well as the leg muscles play an important role in generating heat by shivering
(There is more interesting info on these webpages).

some art, cartoons, illustrations, pigeon photos, general nonsense

Last edited by Larry_Cologne; 14th May 2010 at 08:38 AM..
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