We examined aerobic performance, organ and muscle mass and enzymatic activity in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). We tested three models of performance limitation (central limits, peripheral limits, symmorphosis) and explored relationships between basal metabolic rate (BMR), aerobic capacity (V (O2max)) and social rank. Males had a lower BMR, a higher V (O2max) and a greater aerobic scope than females. Females possessed larger peritoneal and reproductive organs, while males had larger hearts, lungs and leg muscles. In females, BMR was correlated with spleen mass and V (O2max) was correlated with hematocrit and large intestine mass. Male BMR was correlated with intestinal tract and lung mass, and V (O2max) was correlated with heart and pectoralis mass. Male citrate synthase activity averaged 57 % higher than that of females and was correlated with V (O2max) (this correlation was not significant in females). Female social status was not correlated with any variable, but male dominance was associated with higher aerobic scope, larger heart and lungs, smaller peritoneal organs and greater leg citrate synthase activity. We conclude that aerobic capacity is controlled by system-wide limitations (symmorphosis) in males, while in females it is controlled by central organs. In neither sex is elevated aerobic capacity associated with increased maintenance costs.
The mechanistic basis of aerobic performance variation in red junglefowl
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K.A. Hammond, M.A. Chappell, R.A. Cardullo, R. Lin, T.S. Johnsen; The mechanistic basis of aerobic performance variation in red junglefowl. J Exp Biol 1 July 2000; 203 (13): 2053–2064. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.203.13.2053
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