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 August 2, 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 August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) — The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) — A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
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