Passerines versus nonpasserines: So far, no statistical differences in the scaling of avian energetics

Enrico L. Rezende, David L. Swanson, F. Fernando Novoa, Francisco Bozinovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed and compared the scaling of both basal and maximal thermogenic metabolic rates in passerine and nonpasserine birds using conventional and phylogenetic methods. In spite of the presumed adaptive importance of both metabolic traits, few studies concerning both their relationships and their ecological and evolutionary constraints have been conducted. We found no statistical differences in the scaling of maximal metabolic rate between passerines and nonpasserines; hence, we suggest the use of a single allometric regression for this trait in birds. In addition, basal and maximal metabolic rates were indeed correlated after removing the effects of body mass and phylogeny. The apparent generality of this correlation within both birds and mammals reinforces the need for general ecological and physiological explanations for the evolution of endothermy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2002


  • Basal metabolic rate
  • Bird
  • Body size
  • Endothermy
  • Maximal metabolic rate
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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