Many small birds perform short flights, for which take-offs, ascents and descents form a large component of the total flight time and which are characterised by low airspeeds. Using the doubly-labelled water technique, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata engaging in repeated short flights were found to expend 13.65 kJ more than ‘non-flying’ controls, which equated to a flight expenditure of 27.8 times their basal metabolic rate. This is over three times the predicted flight expenditure derived from existing aerodynamic models. These data were used to determine a coefficient (0.11) for converting the mechanical power derived from aerodynamic models into metabolic power. An equation is presented, based on body mass, which can be used to predict the costs of short flights in ecological and behavioural studies of birds.
The energetic cost of short flights in birds
R.L. Nudds, D.M. Bryant; The energetic cost of short flights in birds. J Exp Biol 15 May 2000; 203 (10): 1561–1572. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.203.10.1561
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The Forest of Biologists
We are excited to announce the launch of The Forest of Biologists, a new biodiversity initiative created with support from the Woodland Trust, aiming to counteract nature loss and safeguard some of the most critically endangered ecosystems for future generations. Do take a look around our virtual forest. For every Research Article and Review/Commentary article that is published in JEB, a native tree is planted in a forest in the UK.
Celebrating 100 years of discovery
We are proud to be celebrating 100 years of discovery in Journal of Experimental Biology. Visit our centenary webpage to find out more about how we are marking this historic milestone.
Looking back on the first issue of JEB
Journal of Experimental Biology launched in 1923 as The British Journal of Experimental Biology. As we celebrate our centenary, we look back at that first issue and the zoologists publishing their work in the new journal.
In our new Conversation series JEB@100, JEB Editor-in-Chief Craig Franklin talks about the big outstanding questions in the field of physiological plasticity and why he thinks a sense of community is key to the journal's success. Find out more here.
Deer mice overheat and struggle to run in high temperatures
The impacts of warming temperatures associated with climate change on performance are poorly understood in most mammals. Matthew Eizenga and colleagues show that deer mice run comfortably at 25C, but as the temperature rises the tiny rodents start to struggle and they begin overheating at air temperatures of 38C, which could be a big problem for the animals in future climate scenarios.
Propose new workshop for 2025
Do you have an idea for a Workshop? We are now accepting proposals for our 2025 Biologists Workshops programme. As the scientific organiser, your involvement will be focused on the science. We'll take care of all the logistics. In 2025 we'll continue our efforts to diversify our Workshop programme and will be reserving one of our Workshops for an application from a Global South (GS) country to host an event overseas.