Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2017

How Birds Meet Their Oxygen Demands At High Altitude

CornellLab of Ornithology reports on a study describing how birds manage to breathe at high elevation. The article also discusses how moving to higher elevations to deal with climate change is a very limited coping strategy

“We found the migrant species respond to hypoxia just as most humans do when moving from sea level to higher elevations,” Barve says. “They do it by increasing their oxygen transport with a greater number of red blood cells.

”It sounds like a good idea, since creating more red blood cells means more hemoglobin, which can carry more oxygen. But the strategy has a downside: thicker blood and a higher risk of clots and blocked blood vessels. And it only works for a limited time.

Source: Flying on Fumes: How Birds Meet Their Oxygen Demands at High Altitude | All About Birds

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  1. […] via How Birds Meet Their Oxygen Demands At High Altitude — Natural History Wanderings […]

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