Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Uncovering the onshore life of king penguins via energy expenditures : understanding their physiological stress response and the biomechanics of their pedestrian locomotion
Author: Willener, Astrid S. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 4825
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Measuring energy expenditure using respirometery, heart rate and accelerometry can enable hitherto unknown aspects of a species’ energetic ecology to be uncovered. Due to the increased use of these methods, rigour is required to improve the accuracy of the results. As they can only feed in the sea, King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) need to manage their onshore energetic budget well. During fasting periods, which can last up to one month, heavy individuals need to walk several kilometres to reach their zone of attachment, where they incubate and take care of the egg 24 hours a day. They then need to have sufficient energy reserves to return to sea, swim to the polar front and efficiently fish for prey. Consequently, knowing the energy expenditure of king penguins while onshore is key for understanding their future survival. By investigating the onshore energy expenditure of king penguins, this thesis generates new insights not only into their physiological stress response and the biomechanics of pedestrian locomotion, but also into proxy-based methods of measuring energy expenditure. The cardio-respiratory stress response was defined for this species, with some surprising findings, and the energetic cost of the stress response was demonstrated. Implications for the confounding effect of stressed states on energy proxy calibrations were considered and a standard protocol to alleviate this issue in future studies of king penguin energetics is proposed. The biomechanics and energetics of the pedestrian locomotion were investigated to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms developed to optimise king penguin gait in relation to their body mass. Following investigation of differences in walking between heavy and light penguins, no conclusive explanations were established, though future investigations are suggested to enhance this learning. Finally, using the data collected throughout the thesis, the energy expenditure of early and late breeders was investigated, enabling a better understanding of their energy budgets which can be fed into conservation projects for king penguins.
Supervisor: Robertson, Anne ; Halsey, Lewis ; Handrich, Yves ; Strike, Siobhan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available