Corticosterone secretion through long incubation shifts in Diomedea albatrosses

Blood samples were collected from free-living incubating Diomedea albatross during single incubation shifts, both daily (wandering albatross D. exulans and every 2 days (grey-headed albatross D. chrysostoma and black-browed albatross D. melanophris), and the concentration of corticosterone was determined. Within 48 hr a significant increase in the corticosterone concentration was observed in each species. The magnitude of the increase was greater in the grey-headed and black-browed albatrosses than in the wandering albatross. Corticosterone concentrations rose steadily through the incubation shift in grey-headed and black-browed albatrosses, but fluctuated erratically in wandering albatrosses. All three species of albatross fast during incubation and the increase in adrenocortical activity is probably related to the voluntary deprivation of food and water.


Publication status:
Authors: Hector, J.A.L., Harvey, S.

1 June, 1986
General and Comparative Endocrinology / 62
Link to published article: