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Re: surface/volume ratio and water loss in smallest amniotes

On Thu, Feb 11th, 2010 at 9:29 AM, David Peters <davidpeters@att.net> wrote:

> It seems like rain and windy conditions makes all small flyers seek
> cover though.

Beetles and butterflies have microstructures on the surface of their wings that 
help to repel water 
droplets, allowing them to fly in the rain. Strong wind is likely to be the 
more troublesome of the 
two conditions for small fliers.


> Interesting factoid: I found that bee hummingbirds drink 8x their
> body weight in water every day, so there's one solution. And
> evidently there IS a problem with the surface/volume ratio and the
> threat of desiccation.

I wonder how much water is lost through surface evaporation, and how much is 
via respiration? 
They apparently have a very high respiration rate (250 breaths per minute!).


Dann Pigdon
GIS Specialist                         Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj