Interference in radioimmunoassays (RIAs) was frequently encountered during endocrinological studies of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Interference was greatest when serum was cloudy or opaque. Such samples appeared seasonally, in spring and summer during the phase of fat deposition, and in the winter when females were laying. These poor quality samples did not allow accurate measurement…

Read More

Cardiovascular variables were studied as a function of oxygen consumption in the emu, a large, flightless ratite bird well suited to treadmill exercise. At the highest level of exercise, the birds’ rate of oxygen consumption (VO2) was approximately 11.4 times the resting level (4.2 ml kg-1 min-1). Cardiac output was linearly related to VO2, increasing…

Read More

Emu eggs weigh approximately 600 g and have an incubation duration (ID) of approximately 50 days. The egg mass is approximately 10-fold heavier than the chicken egg and the ID is approximately 2.5-fold longer. Daily changes in mean heart rate (MHR) of emu embryos were previously determined, but further measurement was needed to investigate the…

Read More

Six emu hatchlings were non-invasively measured for electrocardiogram (ECG) from their chest wall using flexible electrodes, and the instantaneous heart rate (IHR) was determined from ECG throughout the first week of post-hatching life. Although the baseline heart rate (HR) was low, approximately 100-200 beats per min (bpm), compared with chick hatchlings, the IHR fluctuated markedly.…

Read More

The amino acid sequence of a single polypeptide chain, B-4, from fowl feather barbs has been determined. The B-4 chain was found to consist of 96 amino acid residues and to have a molecular weight of 10206 in the S-carboxymethylated form. The N terminus of this protein was an N-acetylserine residue. The B-4 protein contained…

Read More

Avian calcified eggshell layers contain in their organic matrix one or two C-type lectin-like proteins. Previously characterized eggshell proteins of this family are chicken ovocleidin-17 (OC-17), goose ansocalcin and ostrich struthiocalcins 1 and 2 (SCA-1, SCA-2). In this report we present the amino acid sequences of two emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) (dromaiocalcin-1 and -2; DCA-1, DCA-2)…

Read More

DNA-based sex tests now exist for many avian species. However, none of these tests are widely applicable to ratites. We present DNA sequence data for a locus that is W chromosome-linked in the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, rhea, and emu. At the amino acid level, this sequence has significant homology to X-linked genes in platyfish and…

Read More

The acyl composition of phospholipids from pectoral muscle of eight species of birds, ranging in size from the 13 g zebra finch to the 34 kg emu, were measured and combined with recent published results for a 3 g hummingbird. This represents an approximately 11000-fold range in body mass. Muscle phospholipids, and thus muscle membrane…

Read More

The spontaneous and pure-tone sound-driven activity of primary auditory units was recorded in the cochlear ganglion of emu chicks aged between post-hatching days 1 and 14. Spontaneous activity tended to increase both with the chick’s age and as a function of the unit’s characteristic frequency (CF). The CF of 887 units ranged from 0.04 to…

Read More

This paper is a comparative study of auditory-nerve morphology in birds. The chicken (Gallus gallus), the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and the starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were chosen as unspecialised birds that have already been used in auditory research. The data are discussed in comparison to a similar earlier study on the barn owl, a bird with…

Read More