The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: Geese: the pack animals of the future.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflMar 4, 2010 12:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Load carrying during locomotion in the barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis): The effect of load placement and size. "Load carrying has been used to study the energetics and mechanics of locomotion in a range of taxa. Here we investigated the energetic and kinematic effects of trunk and limb loading in walking barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis). A directly proportional relationship between increasing back load mass and metabolic rate was established, indicating that the barnacle goose can carry back loads (up to 20% of body mass) more economically than the majority of mammals... Sternal loads up to 15% of body mass were approximately twice as expensive to carry as back loads... Loading the distal limb with 5% extra mass incurred the greatest proportional rise in metabolism, and also caused increases in stride length, swing duration and stride frequency during locomotion. The increased work required to move the loaded limb may explain the high cost of walking."

Photo: flickr/Daveness_98

Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: How hard can I snuggle my penguin without waking him? Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: fun with animals

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.