Oxygen Consumption of a Flying Bird

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Science  07 Oct 1966:
Vol. 154, Issue 3745, pp. 150-151
DOI: 10.1126/science.154.3745.150


Budgerygahs (Melopsittacus undulatus) flew with a minimum oxygen consumption of 38 milliliters per gramhour at each of three speeds between 19 and 33 kilometers per hour in a recirculating wind tunnel. An oxygen debt accumulated in the first minute of flight and was repaid in the minute following cessation of flight. Frequency of wingbeat was independent of flight speed. The data suggest that flying budgerygahs have a higher cardiac output per kilogram of body weight than mammals and that flight muscle of the budgerygah is among the most metabolically active tissues known.

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