Measurement of maximum oxygen consumption in guinea fowl Numida meleagris indicates that birds and mammals display a similar diversity of aerobic scopes during running
Originally published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 76(5):695–703, 2003. DOI: 10.1086/376430
Judgement of exercise performance in birds has been hampered by a paucity of data on maximal aerobic capacity. We measured the maximal rate of oxygen consumption (V̇o₂,max) in running guinea fowl Numida meleagris, a bird that has been used in several previous studies of avian running. Mean V̇o₂,max during level treadmill running was 97.5±3.7 mL O&8322; kg⁻¹ min⁻¹ (mean ± SEM, N=5). V̇o₂,max was on average 6% higher when the birds ran uphill compared with the value during level running (paired t-test, P=0.041, N=5). The mean basal rate of oxygen consumption (V̇o₂,bmr) of the same individuals was 7.9±0.5 mL kg⁻¹ min⁻¹.Mean factorial aerobic scope based on individually measured values of V̇o₂,max and V̇o₂,bmr was 13.2 ± 0.6 (mean ± SEM, N=5). This value was considerably lower than the factorial aerobic scope previously measured during running in Rhea americana, a large flightless ratite. The difference in factorial scope between these two running birds likely reflects the effects of body size as well as size-independent differences in the ability to deliver and use oxygen. These data confirm a previous prediction that birds have a diversity of factorial aerobic scopes similar to that exhibited by mammals.
David J. Ellerby, MaryEllen Cleary, Richard L. Marsh, and Cindy I. Buchanan. "Measurement of maximum oxygen consumption in guinea fowl Numida meleagris indicates that birds and mammals display a similar diversity of aerobic scopes during running" Biology Faculty Publications (2003).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rmarsh/1