The regulation of primary molt speed in the grey plover,Pluvialis squatarola

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) Science Article 1


Grey plovers wintering at different latitudes differ in duration of molt. We investigated the role of simultaneous primaryshedding and different growth rates of individual primaries on regulation of molt speed. We also explored relationships betweenlength and mass of primaries and primary growth rates. Grey plovers adjusted molt speed by varying the number of primariesgrowing simultaneously and the growth rates of individual primaries. As a result, total production of primary mass was notconstant during molting but regulated in relation to proximate factors, such as day-length and temperature. The outermost longprimary (P10) had growth rates different from innermost primaries, possibly because of a different mass/length ratio.

Lorenzo Serra, Les G. Underhill, Acta Zoologica Sinica 52(Supplement): 451-455, 2006

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