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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Post-dive blood lactate concentrations in emperor penguins, Aptenodytes forsteri.

In order to determine an aerobic diving limit (ADL) in emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri), post-dive blood lactate concentrations were measured in penguins foraging at an isolated sea ice hole. Resting lactate concentrations were 1.2-2.7 mmol l-1. Serial samples revealed that lactate level usually peaked within 5 min after dives and that 7-12 min was required for lactate concentrations to decrease from 5-8 mmol l-1 to less than 2.5 mmol l-1. Post-dive lactate level was not elevated above 3 mmol l-1 for dives shorter than 5 min. Two-phase regression analysis revealed a transaction at 5.6 min in the post-dive lactate level versus diving duration relationship. All dives longer than 7 min were associated with lactate concentrations greater than 5 mmol l-1. We conclude that the ADL in emperor penguins ranges between 5 and 7 min. These are the first determinations of post-dive lactate concentrations in any free-diving bird and are currently the only physiological assessment of an ADL in an avian species.[1]


  1. Post-dive blood lactate concentrations in emperor penguins, Aptenodytes forsteri. Ponganis, P.J., Kooyman, G.L., Starke, L.N., Kooyman, C.A., Kooyman, T.G. J. Exp. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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