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Dive duration in air-breathing vertebrates is thought to be constrained by the volume of oxygen stored in the body and the rate at which it is consumed (i.e., “o xygen store/usage hypothesis” ). The body mass-dependence of dive duration among endothermic vertebrates is largely supportive of this model, but previous analyses of ectothermic vertebrates show no such body mass-dependence. Here we show that dive duration in both endotherms and ectotherms largely support the oxygen store/usage hypothesis after accounting for the well-established effects of temperature on oxygen consumption rates. Analyses of the body mass and temperature dependence of dive duration in 181 species of endothermic vertebrates and 29 species of ectothermic vertebrates show that dive duration increases as a power law with body mass, and decreases exponentially with increasing temperature. Thus, in the case of ectothermic vertebrates, changes in environmental temperature will likely impact the foraging ecology of divers.
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Body Mass, Temperature, and Dive Duration Data for Vertebrates
Body mass (M, in g), temperature (T, in oC), median dive time (median DT, in minutes), maximum dive time (max DT, in minutes), and the per species median and max. dive time data (in minutes) for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
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