Cloacal evaporation: An important and previously undescribed mechanism for avian thermoregulation

Ty C M Hoffman, Glenn E. Walsberg, Dale Denardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the first experimental evidence that a bird is capable of evaporating enough water from the cloaca to be important for thermoregulation. We measured rates of evaporation occurring from the mouth, the skin, and the cloaca of Inca doves Columbina inca Lesson and Eurasian quail Coturnix coturnix Linnaeus. Inca doves showed no significant increase in cutaneous evaporation in response to curtailment of buccopharyngeal evaporation. Cloacal evaporation in doves was negligible at ambient temperatures of 30°, 35° and 40°C. However, at 42°C, the apportionment of total evaporation in doves was 53.4% cutaneous, 25.4% buccopharyngeal and 21.2% cloacal, with cloacal evaporation shedding, on average, 150 mW of heat. In contrast, the evaporative apportionment in quail at 32°C (the highest ambient temperature tolerated by this species) was 58.2% cutaneous, 35.4% buccopharyngeal and 6.4% cloacal. These results suggest that, for some birds, cloacal evaporation can be controlled and could serve as an important emergency tactic for thermoregulation at high ambient temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-749
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume210
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Fingerprint

thermoregulation
Body Temperature Regulation
Columbidae
evaporation
doves
Cloaca
Coturnix
Skin
Quail
Temperature
Birds
ambient temperature
cloaca
quails
Coturnix coturnix
Mouth
evaporation rate
Emergencies
bird
Hot Temperature

Keywords

  • Bird
  • Cloaca
  • Columbina inca
  • Coturnix coturnix
  • Cutaneous
  • Eurasian quail
  • Evaporative
  • Inca dove
  • Metabolism
  • Water loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Cloacal evaporation : An important and previously undescribed mechanism for avian thermoregulation. / Hoffman, Ty C M; Walsberg, Glenn E.; Denardo, Dale.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 210, No. 5, 03.2007, p. 741-749.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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