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How migrating birds 'run a marathon,' burning muscles and organs in long flights


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#1 PhysOrg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:56 AM

Migrating birds complete long non-stop flights of many hours for songbirds and days for some shorebirds to reach breeding or wintering grounds. During such flights a bird's metabolic rate is very high, fueled by stored fat, but also by burning the protein in muscles and organs in a process that is not well understood, says eco-physiologist Alexander Gerson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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