The metabolic cost of walking on an incline in the Peacock (Pavo cristatus)

Published on Jun 2, 2015in PeerJ2.379
· DOI :10.7717/PEERJ.987
Holly N. Wilkinson8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Manchester),
Nathan K. Thavarajah5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Manchester),
Jonathan R. Codd18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Manchester)
Altering speed and moving on a gradient can affect an animal’s posture and gait, which in turn can change the energetic requirements of terrestrial locomotion. Here, the energetic and kinematic effects of locomoting on an incline were investigated in the Indian peacock, Pavo cristatus. The mass-specific metabolic rate of the Indian peacock was elevated on an incline, but this change was not dependent on the angle ascended and the cost of lifting remained similar between the two inclines (+5 and +7°). Interestingly, the Indian peacock had the highest efficiency when compared to any other previously studied avian biped, despite the presence of a large train. Duty factors were higher for birds moving on an incline, but there was no difference between +5 and +7°. Our results highlight the importance of investigating kinematic responses during energetic studies, as these may enable explanation of what is driving the underlying metabolic differences when moving on inclines. Further investigations are required to elucidate the underlying mechanical processes occurring during incline movement.
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