Development of thermoregulatory ability during ontogeny in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Authors: Francisco S. TORTOSA and Francisca CASTRO

Published: Volume 50(1), June 2003. Pages 39-45.

Language: English

Keywords: Ciconia ciconia, nestling growth, ontogeny and thermoregulation


The development of thermoregulation abilities in White Stork Ciconia ciconia nestlings was examined. Our results showed that body mass, and not age, was the best predictor for thermoregulatory ability despite what was found in passerines. White Stork nestlings did not develop their thermoregulatory abilities abruptly since their capacity to keep their body temperature developed gradually. When nestlings reached 1,700 g they have just finished to growth at their maximum rate (inflexion point in the growth curve) and they were able to keep their body temperature above 39.5ºC either in the nest or individually isolated at ambient temperature. The homeothermy index (HI) showed a negative correlation with growth rate (GR). Results suggests that White Stork nestlings invest little in thermoregulation before finishing their faster growth period, which is in accordance with the energy allocation hypothesis.

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