Volume 49, No. 2

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Normal physical parameters characterizing Galapagos marine birds


1Charles Darwin Research Station, Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador
2Carrera de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Loja (UNL), Loja, Ecuador
3Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
4Centro de Ciencias de Galapagos, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Galapagos, Ecuador
5Instituto de Investigación en Zoonosis, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
6Utah's Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, Utah 841108, USA
7Dirección Parque Nacional Galapagos, Islas Galapagos, Ecuador


JIMÉNEZ-UZCÁTEGUI, G., CARRERA, P., SARZOSA, S., ENCALADA, E., RODRÍGUEZ-HIDALGO, R., CROOK, E. & SEVILLA, C. 2021. Normal physical parameters characterizing Galapagos marine birds. Marine Ornithology 49: 257 - 263

Received 04 September 2020, accepted 19 May 2021

Date Published: 2021/10/15
Date Online: 2021/09/30
Key words: Flightless Cormorant, Galapagos Penguin, Waved Albatross, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, body condition index


The Galapagos Penguin Spheniscus mendiculus (GAPE), Flightless Cormorant Phalacrocorax harrisi (FLCO), and Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata (WAAL) are marine birds that are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. To provide health information for these three species, baseline data on several physiological parameters were collected non-invasively—from individuals and populations appearing to be healthy—during the course of physical examinations that were conducted from 2011-2019. Heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and body condition (weight vs. morphometric measurements) were analyzed as a function of age and sex. Mean heart rate differed significantly between juveniles and adults in all three species. Respiratory rate and body temperature varied with species, age, and sex; body condition index of GAPE, FLCO, and WAAL showed that males are heavier than females. We briefly speculate on the ecological context of these patterns.


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