Effects of foraging mode and season on the energetics of the Marine Iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus

J. Drent*, W.D. van Marken Lichtenbelt, M. Wikelski

*Corresponding author for this work

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1, Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) inhabiting the rocky shores of the Galapagos Islands apply two foraging strategies, intertidal and subtidal foraging, in a seasonal climate. Effects of both foraging strategy and seasonality on the daily energy expenditure (DEE) were measured using doubly labelled water. 2, Difference in foraging mode did not result in significant differences in DEE. 3, On Santa FC the DEE in the warm season was significantly higher than in the cool season (57.8 +/- 21.8 kJ kg(-0.8) day(-1) vs 38.0 kJ kg(-0.8) day(-1)). This difference can be explained by body temperature. A model estimate of the body temperature was used to predict monthly DEE figures, giving a year round budget. On average a l-kg iguana would need only 47 kJ day(-1), or 17 mJ year(-1). This is lower than previous estimates in which body temperatures were not taken into account. 4, The water flux of the Marine Iguana increases with increasing foraging time. The linear rise per minute foraging is roughly two times as high for subtidally foraging animals as for intertidal foragers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-499
Number of pages7
JournalFunctional Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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