Environmental and physiological determinants of huddling behavior of molting female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)

While endotherms can rely on their insulation to reduce heat loss to adapt to cold environments, renewing of fur during molt impairs insulation while they have to perfuse the periphery to support epidermal tissues. The southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina undertakes an annual catastrophic molt while fasting on land in a wet, windy and cold […]

The use of IR thermography to measure the radiative temperature and heat loss of a barn owl (Tyto alba)

Infrared (IR) thermography was used to identify the major sites of heat loss from a female barn owl at an air temperature of 17.6°C. When perched, the mean radiative temperature of the owl was 21.1°C (SD=3.5). The facial disc averaged 23.9°C (SD=9.1) and the temperature of the eyes was greater than 33°C. Images showed an […]

Why do vultures have bald heads? The role of postural adjustment and bare skin areas in thermoregulation

Griffon vultures (Genus Gyps) have large areas of bare skin on their body, and by changing their posture they can vary the extent to which these are covered by feathers. We used a mathematical model to estimate the amount of bare skin exposed in the postures adopted in cold and hot conditions. Measurements of heat […]

Infrared thermography: principles and applications

All objects with surface temperatures above absolute zero emit electromagnetic radiation. In this paper we describe the physical principles that allow calculation of the surface temperatures of objects from the wavelength and intensity of electromagnetic radiation emitted in the infrared region of the spectrum (infrared thermography). This technique can be applied to measure the surface […]