Thermoregulatory behavior in migratory European Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster)

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5 Scopus citations


Birds in hyper-arid environments have acute problems of energy and water balance, and thermoregulate both physiologically and behaviorally. I report on European Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) engaged in a previously unreported thermoregulatory behavior of diving into the sea and in salt ponds with high levels of salinity. This behavior may also explain the previously reported, but unexplained, finding of bee-eaters inside a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) in the Red Sea. These observations should instigate future experiments on the subject of selective use of salt water for evaporative cooling and thermoregulatory behavior by desert birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-380
Number of pages3
JournalWilson Journal of Ornithology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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