Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diving seabirds: Working hard and living long

Date:
July 2, 2012
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Scientists have found that diving birds reach their 30s and then die quickly and suddenly, showing few signs of aging prior to death. Their findings could help us understand the aging process, providing critical insights for our aging population.

Brόnnich's guillemots have the highest flight costs of any bird.
Credit: Kyle Elliott

Scientists have found that diving birds reach their 30s and then die quickly and suddenly, showing few signs of aging prior to death.

Their findings, which will be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in Salzburg on 2nd July could help us understand the aging process, providing critical insights for our aging population.

The guillemots -- which look similar to penguins but can fly -- have the highest flight costs of any bird and expend substantial energy for diving. Their high metabolisms and frequent dives should produce oxidative stress, causing the birds to deteriorate as they age. But, the researchers discovered that the birds stay fit and active as they grow older, maintaining their flying, diving, and foraging abilities.

Kyle Elliott, a PhD student at the University of Manitoba and the study's lead author, said, "Most of what we know about aging is from studies of short-lived round worms, fruit flies, mice, and chickens, but long-lived animals age differently. We need data from long-lived animals, and one good example is long-lived seabirds."

Elliott also said, "Not only do these birds live very long, but they maintain their energetic lifestyle in a very extreme environment into old age."

One bird, nicknamed 'Wayne Gretzky' by the researchers (after the Canadian hockey great who played 20 seasons and because the bird's identification band colours matched Gretzky's team colours), raised young for 18 consecutive years.

Over 4 consecutive summers, researchers periodically tracked Brόnnich's guillemots' fitness, recording how deep and for how long they would dive for prey, how far and fast they would fly, and how much energy they expended on these activities. They looked for changes in the birds' behaviour and metabolism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Diving seabirds: Working hard and living long." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702134744.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2012, July 2). Diving seabirds: Working hard and living long. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702134744.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Diving seabirds: Working hard and living long." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702134744.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) — A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins