Heart rate and aerobic metabolism have been recorded from three Humboldt penguins, Spheniscus humboldti, freely diving on a freshwater pond (9 X 4.6 X 2.7 m deep), using an implanted radiotransmitter and an open circuit respirometer. Oxygen uptake at mean dive duration (46.2s) was 26% greater than the resting value, but the difference was not statistically significant. Heart rate was also similar to the resting value. It is concluded that voluntary dives of penguins are completely aerobic and that oxygen stores are sufficient to allow metabolism to continue at the rate estimated in the present study for 2.27 min during voluntary submersion. This is longer than that calculated for tufted ducks, probably because the penguins are more efficient at underwater locomotion and because they are almost neutrally buoyant.
Heart rate and aerobic metabolism in Humboldt penguins, Spheniscus humboldti, during voluntary dives
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P. J. Butler, A. J. Woakes; Heart rate and aerobic metabolism in Humboldt penguins, Spheniscus humboldti, during voluntary dives. J Exp Biol 1 January 1984; 108 (1): 419–428. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.108.1.419
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