Accounting for body condition improves allometric estimates of resting metabolic rates in fasting king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • A Fahlman
  • DR Jones
  • A Schmidt
  • S Durand
  • G Froget
  • CA Bost
  • C Duchamp
  • Y Handrich

Colleges, School and Institutes


We describe a method that allows prediction of resting metabolic rate (RMR, ml O2 center dot min-1) in adult male and female king penguins on shore by measuring body mass (Mb) and the length of the foot, flipper and beak. This method is accurate, underestimating measured RMR (n=114) by 4% in a data set consisting of 44 birds (33 males and 11 females). Measurement error was unbiased with respect to fasting duration and can therefore estimate RMR during any stage of fasting. This new method provides significant cost and logistical savings when estimating RMR during fieldwork, allowing RMR of a large number of birds to be measured quickly. These findings suggest the possibility that the use of Mb and morphometrics will allow development of general and specific equations to estimate RMR in other species.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-614
Number of pages6
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number7
Early online date11 Jan 2006
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Structural Size, Rest Metabolic Rate, Morphometric Measurement, King Penguin, Male Bird